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Constitution

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

From the beginning of time nations have risen, and fallen.  In all cases nations have fallen because they chose to indulge in sin instead of following the the ways of a loving Father.  The most note worthy falls came by way of flooding, and by fire from heaven.  “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  The Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.  Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.’ ”  (Genesis 6: 5 – 7 )  Our Father made the rain to pour for forty days and forty nights flooding the entire earth destroying all life except for Noah and his family.  In regards to the fire from heaven, “…the Lord said, ‘the out-cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.  Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone  and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.’ ”  (Genesis 18: 20 & 19: 24 &25)  Question, can we see any resemblance in the United States today with the people in Noah’s day and Sodom and Gomorrah?  

Another way for us to see how sin affects nations is by looking at the history of Israel as revealed in the Old Testament.  Israel had numerous kings and it’s interesting to note that every time their leaders followed the Lord the nation flourished.  When the leaders were evil the nation suffered hardship.  Asa, a good king, became king of Judah and, “Asa did what was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his fathers.  Now the rest of all the acts of Asa and all his might and all that he did and the cities which he built…, And Asa slept with his fathers and was buried with His fathers in the city of David his father…”  (1 Kings 15: 11 & 31)  Nadab, a bad king,  “…did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin which he made Israel sin.   (1 Kings 15: 26)  Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity when their kings followed the Lord.  When bad kings reigned corruption and foreign take overs plagued the land.  The good king, bad king scenario continued until the Lord ran Israel off the land He had given them.  He did so because they began sacrificing their sons and daughters to foreign gods.  That was the last straw.  The history of Israel should serve as an example to America of what happens to a country when our Father’s had enough.  In regards to Israel’s behavior, “…most of them God was not well pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.  Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.”  (1 Cor. 10:5 & 6)  This passage is referring to Israel; however, it most definitely applies to America as well.  One may say, “well at least we haven’t sacrificed our children to idols.  Oh really?  Since 1973 America has aborted 58,586,256 children (Lifenews).  The only difference between Israel and America is Israel sacrificed their children to foreign gods while we sacrifice our children to self.  Oh yes, we have sacrificed millions more that Israel.  Because of our behavior in these matters one has to wonder if we’ve drawn our last straw.  I would say yes except the whole world is involved in these things which leads me to believe our Lord is right at the door.  In regards to His return, people mistakenly believe the whole earth will be blessed upon the Lord’s return.   Wrong!  When Jesus comes His elect will be with Him.  “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will MOURN, and they will see the Son of Man COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY  with power and great glory.  And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”  (Matt 24: 30 & 31)  Now the question is, why will all the tribes of the earth mourn?  Because “…the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”  (Matt 24: 37 – 39)  However when Christ returns it will be different in that all humanity will be killed by the sword instead of a flood.  “And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which be deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.  And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.  (Rev 19: 20 & 21)  Before Christ’s coming all that are His will be taken up to be with Him, and those left on earth will be killed with the sword.  Have we even considered these events?  It’s not about religion, it’s about reality.      

Now lets see if what America is doing now is any different than what Israel was doing before the Lord drove them from their land.  With every election there is much talk about the candidates ability to follow the guidelines set forth in the Constitution.  Truth is the Constitution was thrown out the window long ago with decisions made by our government.  What decisions am I referring to?  I am referring to decisions made for pornography, abortion, and same sex marriage.  I know, sin is sin and without repentance all end up in the same place; however, the big three are different in that they were made legal by our government.  How could anyone, let alone the justices of the United States Supreme Court, not understand there would not be death and destruction because of their renderings.  How could anyone in the their right mind even imagine the founding fathers believed their writing of the Constitution would one day accommodate pornography, abortion, and same sex marriage.  The only way to understand the Constitution is through the minds of our founding fathers, and they would greatly object if they knew how badly their writings had been misinterpreted.  The Court, with the blessing of the other two branches of government, have legalized sin in America, and “We The People” are paying a huge a price because of our government’s lack of knowledge of Him who created all things.

Pornography was legalized in the early seventies.  The effects of this ruling has been a destructive force against men, women, and children.  Why in God’s name the courts couldn’t see the disaster their decisions would cause is beyond me.  Pornography is a powerful force for evil and the best way to illustrate my point is the story of David and Bathsheba.  David was great in the Lord and after removing king Saul the Lord,  “…raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART. who will do My will.’ ”  (Acts 13:22)  Despite the strong relationship between the Lord and David this took place.  “Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah.  But David stayed at Jerusalem.  Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.  So David sent and inquired about the woman.  And one said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’  David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.  The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am pregnant.’ ”  (2 Samuel 11: 1 – 5)  When David learned of Bathsheba’s pregnancy he instructed Joab, who was head of the army, to send for her husband, Uriah, from the battlefield.  When Uriah arrived David gave him food and drink then encouraged him to go to his home.  David felt sure Uriah would sleep with his wife so it would never be discovered David was the father of Bathsheba’s child.  However instead of going to his home Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house telling David the next morning he couldn’t go to the comforts of his home while his comrades were camping in the open field.  Still wanting to get Uriah to be with his wife David kept him a second night instructing him to stay the night with his wife.  Once again Uriah refused to go to his home but instead slept with the king’s servants.  When David learned that Uriah had not gone home the second night he, “…wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.  He had written in the letter, saying, ‘Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.’  So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men.  The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died.’ ”  (2 Samuel 11: 14 – 17)  How in the world could David be involved in such an evil scheme?  He was a man after the Lord’s own heart.  It happened because David looked upon a women’s nudity, and because of  that one act he set in motion acts of adultery, and conspiracy to commit murder.  Now fast forward to today and think of the opportunities a person has to look at nudity and much, much more.  Sexual perversion is available to men, women, and even children; “no holds barred.”  The Supreme Court has made pornography available in the open market resulting in destruction and mayhem to many innocent people.   

 Abortion was legalized in 1973 in the landmark case, Roe vs. Wade.  The Justices justified their decision stating that life does not begin until a child is born, and yet today a person is charged with a double murder if they kill a pregnant women and her child also dies.  However a doctor can crush an unborn child’s head and remove it from the mother’s womb all in the name of, “choice.”  People believe that a man and women have sex and a child is born. WRONG!  There’s much more to it than that.  “…You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”  (Psalm 139: 13-16)  We’re not just destroying a child, we are destroying God’s creations, and here is the worse part.  Everyone involved in the abortion process knows that God is the creator of all life and yet they don’t bat an eye when it comes to destroying His creations. Many women suffer great mental anguish after having an abortion.  I imagine many repent which is a good thing.  Hey, don’t feel sorry for the babies that are aborted.  They’re all with their Father waiting to meet their mothers on the day of judgement.  All those who had a hand in the abortion process will be there to witness the power of God including the Justices who wrote abortion into law.  Blessed indeed are the mothers whom the Father allows repentance. Their tears will run like a river when they meet their child, and witness the Father’s love for the aborted child and repentant mother.

Homosexuality has been around since the beginning of time.  Many believe homosexuals are born that way; however, Scripture does not agree.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world  His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.  (Romans 18 – 32)  All people know about God; however, most refuse to acknowledge Him.  All people believe in God but most refuse to obey Him.  Some people become so evil the Lord turns them over to degrading passions, and that is how they become homosexuals.  The belief that homosexuals are born that way is the same thing as saying it’s God fault because He made them that way.

When the government legalized homosexual marriage they are also saying it’s alright for homosexuals to suffer throughout eternity.  “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  (1 Cor. 6: 9 & 10)  Here’s the question.  Since the government legalized same sex marriage do you suppose homosexuality will be more or less acceptable?  Even though our government has done a terrible injustice to the homosexual community our Lord has made a way to escape.  “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  (1 Cor. 11)  Just as the Lord turned people over to homosexuality because of their disobedience, He also washed some with sanctification and justification resulting in ever lasting life.  Many years ago a neighbor friend of ours gave up her homosexual life style and has been serving the Lord ever since.  It’s wrong for our government to legalize same sex marriage.  It’s wrong because no mention is made by the courts that homosexuals can never enter the glorious kingdom of heaven unless they repent.

Why is it pornography, abortion, and homosexuality have thrived in our society?  It’s because we have our eyes on things seen, instead of things that are unseen.  We have  forsaken the promise.  “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.  Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal, weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  (2 Cor 4: 15 – 18)   Do we believe we are a nation seeking eternal pursuits when our government approves pornography, abortion, and homosexuality?  How did we arrive at all things seen instead of all things not seen.  It all took a disastrous turn when the Supreme Court ruled that Jesus Christ could not be allowed in anything pertaining to the government.  They called it separation of “Church and State.”  A child would never make such a mistake let alone our Supreme Court Justices.  I believe separation of Church and State was put in so no one church denomination could never rule over the people.  So without knowledge of who Jesus Christ is, the Supreme Court banned the Author of life from the government.  They made the righteous One the same as all the other religious leaders in the world.  Is Jesus the same as all the other religious leaders?  “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  But you, why do you judge your brother?  Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?  For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ ”  (Romans 14: 9 – 11)  That includes every religious leaders and god known to man.  And this, “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”  (1 Cor 8: 5 & 6)  And finally “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.” And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other, name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”  (John 4: 11 & 12)  The builders, the government, have indeed rejected the Lord, and “We The People” are paying a heavy price for this one tragic mistake.

One may ask, “what sort of price are we paying, life goes on like it always has.”  Oh really?  To show how arrogant we’ve become lets consider global warming.  The global warming issue has been around for quite a while and great effort, and money, has been spent to improve the climate.  Every time there is a natural disaster the cries of global warming get louder.  According to so called experts we have made great strides with calls for more emphasis on the problem.  I have a question.  If we have taken great strides in combating global warming why have things gotten worse?  After all we’ve just experienced four hurricanes, two of which set records for being the worse storms in our nation’s history.   One hurricane totally wiped out an island.  It is indeed delusional for us to think we can affect the climate.  There is only One who can affect the climate, and to think we can do something about it is pure fantasy.  Of course we should protect God’s creation.  But to stand before the Lord saying we can affect climate change reveals our lack of knowledge of Him who created all things including the climate.

Here are additional events which should make us wonder if perhaps our conduct is effecting the heart ache we’re experiencing in America.  For the first time since our nation was founded we’ve  been attacked on our own soil.  Just recently fifty people were gunned down in Las Vegas setting a new record for mass killings.  People that hate us can walk on our soil and kill us anytime they want.  We kicked Jesus out of the classroom, how’s that working out.  In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic our kids are being slaughtered in the classroom.  People are being slaughtered in the inner cities.  Police officers are being assassinated while they try to protect us.  How many people are dying from drugs and alcohol?  Fornication (having sex out of wedlock) use to be against the law.  Now it’s common place.  Couples don’t give it a second thought and yet, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, no idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  (1 Cor 6: 9 & 10)  We don’t want the author of life in our midst yet the above matters are accepted and even glorified in our society.  Use to be a person had to go to a movie theater to see human slaughter and sexual misconduct.  Now it’s available in our own homes.  It comes into our homes while the Father and Son are profaned but never worshiped in most homes.  I’ve heard it said that Jesus is not to be mentioned outside the church because it might offend someone.  Well, how offended will people be as they do back strokes in the lake of fire.  When have we heard a government official say in public that Jesus Christ is Lord?  Has any Congressman publicly encouraged citizens to study the Scriptures to learn the truth?  The Congress of these United States has forsaken their loving Father, and in return have become a body unto itself.  As a result they have lost their ability to function as a governing body.  The Congress of the United States has become a, “knit picking club.”  It’s more important to find dirt on the other party that it is to serve the American people.  It’s more important to plan for the next election than to plan for the American people.  Have you heard the way they talk about each other and to each other?  It’s right out of the pit.  And why is it this way in our country?  Because we have said no to Jesus being in our government and in our midst.  We have said no to Jesus in the classroom.  We have said no to Jesus in public places.  We have said no to Jesus having anything to do with the state.  We have kicked Jesus out of our country, and as a result our nation has settled into darkness, and  truth is, nothing will change until the Government of the United States confesses that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God.  Our Father is not just looking at us, shaking His head in disbelief at our behavior.  No, No, No, No.  Our Father is actually causing the havoc we’re experiencing, and He’s doing it because of disobedience to Him.  We want to see havoc, just look at the countries that refuse to believe in Jesus.  Is that silence I hear?  There are people who say, “Oh, God is a loving God, He would never cause such problems in our country.  Wrong!  “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.  I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me.  I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.”  (Isaiah 45: 5 – 7)  We are indeed a religious nation with churches all over the place, and there are so many different religions who can count them all.  And what will be the end of all this.  “It shall come about when they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’  then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’ ”  (Jeremiah 5: 19)  We think these things only refer to Israel.  Not so.  They were written as an example for any nation that acted like Israel did when they turned their backs on the Lord.  Regardless of what happens in the future we can be assured that when Jesus returns there will be but two churchs left on earth; the Church of Believers and the Church of Non-Believers.

We have indeed dismissed Jesus as being just another god, nobody special; however, the root cause of all our problems is because we have denied the One who loves us most.  Many say they don’t believe in God.  All people know the truth, most however refuse to acknowledge Him or obey Him.   As we read the following Scriptures we’ll understand Jesus is not like other gods.   Jesus is the Son of God.  While on earth Jesus clearly established Himself as the one and only King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Here are but a few of His works which He performed SO WE MIGHT BELIEVE!   Jesus turns water into wine.  “When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’  Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the water pots with water.’  So they filled them up to the brim.  And He said to them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.’  So they took it to him.  When the head waiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the head waiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, ‘Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.’ ” (John 2: 3 & 7 – 10)  Jesus walks on water.  “And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.  When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’  And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’ ”  (Matt 14: 25 – 27)  Jesus calms the sea.  “But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.  They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’  And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.  Luke 8: (23 & 24)  Jesus cast out demons.  “When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.”  (Matt 8: 16)  Jesus feeds five thousand people.  “When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, ‘This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’  But Jesus said to them ‘They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!’  They said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’  And He said, ‘Bring them here to Me.’  Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied.  They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.  There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.  (Matt 14: 15 – 21)    Jesus heals a deaf and mute.  When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.’  After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead!’  But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.’ ”  (Mark 9: 25 – 27)  He raised people from the dead.  Jesus “…came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother.  Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, ‘Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.’  And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.  He, however, took her by the hand and called saying, ‘Child, arise!’  And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.’ ”  (Luke 8: 51 – 55)  Jesus indwells His chosen.  “I do not ask on behalf of these alone but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.  (John 17: 20 – 23)  Jesus came alive after deathAfter being crucified Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to many of his disciples“The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.  To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”  (Acts 1: 1 – 3)  Many of the Lord’s works are recorded; however, the apostle John writes, “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that His testimony is true.  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”  (John 21: 24 & 25)  Of all the other gods that are worshiped in the world, are there any that even come close to the accomplishments of our precious Lord while He was on earth? 

These Scriptures will provide further proof of the Son’s existence from the beginning of time.  Adam and Eve 10,000 BC  “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever – therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.  (Genesus 3: 22 & 23)  Note the words, “like one of us.”  Who in the world is one of “Us.”  How about Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Here is further revelation.  In the New Testament Jesus says, “…that they may all be one;even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us…”  (John 17:21)  As we can see, Jesus includes Himself as being one of, “Us.”   And finally there is this.  “Now, Father, glorify Me together with the glory which I had with You before the world was…”  (John 17: 5)  From the beginning, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Abraham 1973 BC  The Lord tested Abraham and his son Isaac.  “Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, Here I am  He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.  Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’  So the two of them walked on together.   Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham , Abraham!’ He said, ‘Here I am.’ he said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’  Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and to0k the ram and offered him up for burnt offering in the place of his son. (Genesis 22: 1 & 2 &8 – 13)  In the year 1973 BC our Father lays out His plan to offer His Son as an offering for the sins of mankind.  The difference is He didn’t substitute a lamb for His Son.  Notice Abraham, by faith, told his son that God would offer a lamb for the burnt offering.  And who is the lamb?  From the beginning of time the lamb of God has been, and always will be, our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.  Moses 1400 BC  An angel of the Lord spoke to Moses out of a burning bush.  The angel instructed Moses to travel to Egypt to free the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery.  And  “…Moses said to God, ‘behold I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, [The God of your fathers has sent me to you.]  Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’  What shall I tell them?  God said to Moses I AM WHO I AM;’  and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I am has sent me to you.’ ”  (Exodus 3: 13 & 14)  By itself this passage does not give us enough information to know who I AM actually is until in the New Testament we see the Jews challenging Jesus to tell them who he really was.  Jesus said“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”  ‘So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”  ‘So Jesus said to them,’ “Truly , truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’ ”  (John 8: 56 – 58)  Now we know it was Jesus in the burning bushKing David 1040 BC  In a Psalm of David he prophesied saying, “Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.  They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion.  I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death.  For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and feet.  I can count all my bones.  They look, they stare at me; They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lost. (Psalm 22: 12 – 18)  Jesus was crucified when He was thirty three years old, and yet 1,073 years earlier king David prophesied of Jesus’ death on the cross.  Can we imagine the agony He must have suffered?  Can we even imagine He did it all because He knew us thenIsaiah 8th Century BC  “Who has believed our message?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?  For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.  He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.  He was 0ppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.  By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered  That He was cut off the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?  His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.  But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.  As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.  Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53)  Throughout the Old Testament, not knowing Him, but knowing of Him, men spoke of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The amazing part is the testimonies were made over thousands of years dating back to the beginning of time, and they all said the same thing, “Jesus Christ Is Lord!”      

If we have any understanding at all we know our country is in trouble because our government has refused to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.  Why on earth would men with such experience and ability allow laws to be passed that would cast such hurt and misery on our nation?  The justices of the United States Supreme Court are without a doubt the most educated, brightest people in our nation and yet they put their stamp of approval on laws that would cause heart ache for “we the people.”  It came about because the justices lacked wisdom in making their decisions.  Yes they actually have a great wisdom; however, there is a difference between earthly wisdom and wisdom that is given by our Father.  “My son, if you will receive my (wisdom) words And treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her (wisdom) as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  (Proverbs 2: 1 – 6)  Also“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding(Proverbs 9: 10)  The next passage will give us understanding of who our Father’s wisdom truly is.  “The Lord possessed me”  (wisdom) “at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.  From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.  When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water.  Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills I was brought forth; While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world.  When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, When he made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed, When he set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress his command, When he marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in the world, his earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.  Now therefore, O sons listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways.  Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.  Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.  For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord.  But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.”  (Proverbs 8: 22 – 36)  Notice the last part of this passage, “All those who hate me love death.”  Can we actually say our justices and other government leaders hate wisdom and love death?  Absolutely not, at least not in their minds they don’t.  However, they most certainly do by their actions when they pass laws that are totally against the Father’s will for our nation    

Remember in the first part of this message we read about Israel rising and falling at the hands of righteous and evil rulers.  Pornography, abortion, and homosexual marriage are now law; however, these acts of disobedience to our Father have been with us as long as I can remember.  Before being made legal individuals would participate in these acts; however, when our government stepped in with legality the government then became libel for their actions.  However, the leaders that approved such obvious sin are no less guilty than our present leaders who let it stand.  And because the Lord was not consulted by our leaders regarding wisdom, it is a true statement when the Lord says, “All those who hate me love death.”   Some will say it’s a little strong to say our leaders love death.  Oh really!  Our leaders made pornography legal.  Ted Bundy was a serial killer, a “Lady Killer.  Bundy had unique ways of luring his victims either by acting different or faking to be someone else who he was not.  Said to have started his killing spree at the age of 14, Bundy killed young women who resembled  his girlfriend which saw to total of 40 murders before he was executed in 1989.  He confessed that it was pornography that excited him in performing such horrific misdeeds just before his execution.”  (www.elist10.com)  Rainn, is an organization that tracks and reports sexual assault cases.  Rainn has found that every 98 seconds people are sexually assaulted in America.  Can we even imagine this statistic?  Since 1998, 17.7 million women, and 2.78 million men have been sexually assaulted.  Between 2007 and 2013, 63,000 children have been sexually assaulted.  Keep in mind theses assaults were the only ones reported.  How many assaults were not discovered?  It was difficult to find the number of actual deaths stemming from sexual assault cases; however, on one page of deaths related to sexual assault I noted the following headlines.  (1)  “Detroit Man Charged In Sexual Assault of 8 Yr. Old.”  (2)  “Sexual Assault, Near Drowning, Choking to Death”  (3)  “Death of 5 Year Old Include Sexual Assault.”  (4)  “Deputy In Wrongful Death Lawsuit Include Sexual Assault.”  (5)  “Man Charged In Death, Sexual Assault of Infant Stepson.”   This was just one page of headlines.  How many sexual assaults end in death?  How much of this can be attributed to pornography?  All of it’s attributed to pornography.  For crying out loud government wake up!  Why do I say this?  Because thanks to our government pornography is available to all ages, in all areas of media, and is the handbook for sexual assault in America.  To think otherwise would be deceiving ones self.  Without God’s wisdom,  “All those who hate me love death.”

Our leaders made abortion legal.  Finding the number of deaths in this category is easy.  Since abortion was made legal over 59 million plus United States citizens have been destroyed; their heads crushed, ripped from the comfort of the mother’s womb, and thrown into the trash can.  Oh, and lets not for forget who created these little ones.  Without our Father’s wisdom“All those who hate me love death.”  

Our leaders made homosexual marriage legal.  The number of homosexual deaths is off the charts because without repentance they all die.  I am not talking about what happens when a person dies, I am talking about the second death that occurs after the life on earth has ended.  Our Father has given us an example of what He means by the second death.  “Now there was rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.  And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.  Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’  And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house for I have five brothers-in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’  But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even it someone rises from the dead.’ ”  (Luke 16: 19 – 31)  Is the heart of our nation so cold we don’t even consider these things.  How can we abandon the homosexual community, have we no sense of mercy.  If we truly loved homosexuals we’d be talking about the reality of their behavior.  This passage of Scripture ends with Abraham stating, “they will not be persuaded even it someone rises from the dead.”  Well guess who rose from the dead?  Yes, Jesus Christ rose from the dead.  Is anyone listening?  Without His wisdom,“All those who hate me and love death.” 

We know our government is not paying attention because the cruel laws of pornography, abortion, and homosexual rights are still on the books.  I say cruel laws because the end result for “we the people” in many cases is death.  And for homosexuals, as with all sin, without repentance there is a second death which is worse, I mean the eternally worse.  With all these numbers of death and destruction one must believe that the biggest threat against “we the people,” must be our very own government.  The founders of our Constitution would never have believed our leaders would bestow such havoc on its people, and yet here we are.  Congress constantly looks for  “gotcha,” schemes that will made the other party look bad.  While they spend most of their time with nonsense, the people struggle with hurricanes, floods, rapes, murder everywhere, mass killings, drugs and alcohol, illegals, marriages falling apart, fornication, poverty, and hunger.  These things are just the tip of the iceberg.  We wonder way there is so much hate and resentment in our nation.  It is because our government is a divisive, hateful, resentful body, and their actions have filtered down to the people leaving a poisoning effect on the entire nation.     

Why have we abandoned the Lord, because our government has watered down His existence to being just another religious person.  This has happened because we   think Jesus is about religion when He is actually about relationship.  Religion has absolutely nothing to do with who He is.  Think of all the wonders He performed.  Think of all those who testified about His existence from the beginning of time.  Think of the death He suffered so we might have ever lasting life.  Think of crucifying your own child so others might have life.  What we would feel? We’d feel just like our Father did, and does feel.

I’ll end with one more proof of our Lord’s existence.  Forever physicists have been unable to understand what holds the universe together.  Because of the way an atom is structured everything in existence should just fly apart.  Lam Dolphin writes, “The nucleus of the atom contains positively charged and neutral particles-to use a simplistic model.  Mutual electrostatic repulsion between the like-positive protons would drive the nucleus apart if it were not for the “strong force” which binds the nucleus togetherThere is thus an active force imposed on the universe, which actively holds the very atoms of the material world together moment by moment, day by day, century by century.”  (Lambert Dolphin, Physicist Website)  What on earth could it be that holds the entire universe together?  “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1: 15 – 17)  As I mentioned Jesus is not about religion.  Jesus is about a relationship.  A relationship with the One Who holds all things together; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the One our government has rejected is all powerful.  He does what He wants, when He wants, with a divine purpose in mind.  Jesus Christ, is the One and only son of the most high God, and the creator of all life.  He holds all things together in the universe and yet our leaders will not allow Him in their midst, nor do they want Him to be in the midst of the people.  Our leader’s total ignorance of Christ has left them blind to our Father’s purpose for the nation.  They have passed laws that destroy us while keeping Him at bay who could save us.  Therefore. “Behold, days are coming declares the Lord God, When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the Lord.  (Amos 8: 11)  This passage is America today.  Despite all the things we have done to earn our Father’s wrath, His loving kindness, and grace, still waits for us to change.  If “…My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7: 14) 

In closing remember the title of this message is, “Constitution.”   The Preamble of the Constitution gives us an overview of what our nation is suppose to be like for, “we the people.”  

PREAMBLE

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,

establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense

promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves

and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

 

After reviewing the Preamble ask yourself; is there anything in the Preamble that remotely resembles our country today?

Leave a responses below.

God Bless!!!

Roger D. Casterline

 

 

 

 


 

  

    

        

 

Chosen

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

There is one thing that must happen before we can experience salvation.  Do we have to pray, read the Bible, make confession, ask Christ into our lives or ask for forgiveness?  The answer is, none of the above.  There is only one thing that must happen before the event of salvation becomes a reality in our lives.  I am going to reveal numerous Scriptures so we might understand what has to happen before we can receive our Lord’s blessed gift of salvation.  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers’ hand.”  (John 10: 27 – 29)  “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name he may give to you.”  (John 15: 16)  “Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.  I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.”  (John 17: 2 & 6)  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.  (Romans 8: 28 & 29)  “And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.  As He says also in Hosea, ‘I will call those who were not My people, [My people,] And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, [you are not My people] there they shall be called SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.’ ”  (Romans 9:23 – 26)  “What then?  What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened.”  (Romans 11: 7)  For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”  (2 Tim 2: 10)  But you are a CHOSEN RACE, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”  (1 Peter 2:9)  “Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness…”  (Titus 1:1)  “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…”  Colossians 3:12)  “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Cor 1: 9)  “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…”  (1 Cor 1: 30)  “…I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.  And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’  And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.’ “  (Hebrews 2: 12 & 13)  And lastly, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  (Eph 2: 8 & 9)  As we read the Scriptures above it is abundantly clear that we have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God…”  Our Father makes His choices and upon doing so He gives us to Jesus so He might raise us in the last day.  I began this writing by asking what one must do to inherit salvation mentioning praying, reading the Bible, asking forgiveness, etc.  Truth is we won’t pray, read the Bible, or ask forgiveness unless our Father first chooses us!  People say we have to ask the Father to chose us.  If we ask the Father to chose us, we’ve already been chosen.  Others will ask, “how do I know if I’ve been chosen?”  If we ask the question, we haven’t been chosen.  There are numerous examples of being chosen throughout the Bible; however, the salvation of Saul really makes the point in a dramatic fashion.  “Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, “who are you, Lord?”  And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.’ ”  (Acts 9: 1 – 6)  Was Saul (also known at Paul) looking for salvation?  Was he asking the Father to chose him?  No, he was seeking to destroy those who worshiped Jesus; however, because of the Lord’s choice Saul ended up writing much of the new testament.  Our Father chooses us, we don’t choose Him.  We may ask Jesus into our life; however, we will not do so until the Father first asks us into His life.                

Let’s consider this question, when are we chosen by the Father?  The Father chose me forty two years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.  WRONG!  “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”  (2 Thess 2: 13)  Chosen from the “beginning, the beginning of what?”  “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of  God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  (Ephesians 1: 1 – 6)  Every time I read these passages I have to pause and consider the greatness of our Father.

The first two paragraphs in this writing reveals a host of things I have been ignorant of in the past.  Knowing now, what I didn’t know before, how can I say I’ve led someone to Christ when there is overwhelming evidence I had absolutely nothing t0 do with it.  If I say I have led someone to Christ, who am I glorifying, myself or God?  We are however involved in God’s plan of salvation.  We’re farmers, we plant seeds.  “What then is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers…”  (1 Cor 3:  5 – 9)  Praise the Father for giving us the opportunity to work with Him.  A person might say, “If God has made His choices at the foundation of the world why do we even bother?”  The answer is simple.   Because God has given us the honor to be His, “fellow workers.”  “So then let no one boast in men.  For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.”  (1 Cor 3: 21 – 23)  We not only have the honor of working side by side with the creator of all things, “all things belong to you.”  Lastly, think about how we judge others.  I know I have looked upon people, and judged them in my heart because of the obvious sin they exhibited.  When I do that, who am I actually judging?  Am I not judging the Lord because He hasn’t chosen them?  The more I know Him the less I become.

When the Lord chooses us our lives will change dramatically over a period of time.  There are two things that will happen immediately.  We’ll begin to obey our Father and we’ll read the Bible.  Believe me it’s not being religious, it’s about being righteous“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.  (1 Cor 13:  1 – 7)    Can we imagine having the tongues of angels, the gift of prophecy, and to know all the mysteries and knowledge?  Can we imagine having the faith to move mountains, and to give away all our possessions, and surrender our bodies to be burned?  Can we imagine all these gifts, as huge as they are in the world, meaning nothing to the Lord without love?  And there’s this.  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the WILL of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ”  (Matt 7: 21 – 23)  When the Father chooses us we’ll obey Him which will develop within us a deep, abiding love, a love that lets the Father know that we love Him.  This too is of the Father and not of ourselves.  “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and his commandments are not burdensome.  (1 John 5: 2 & 3)  Love is not an emotion, love is an action, and our Father knows we love Him when we obey Him.  When we have a burning desire to obey the Father, believe me God has given us to Christ.  We will never have the desire to obey Him unless the Father has indeed touched our lives.  Obedience to the Father trumps all adjectives a person might use to identify their oneness with God.  And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.  This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.”  (1 John 1:6)         

 Most Christians never consider God as, “now.”  It’s a waiting game, an event that happens after a person dies.  Let us consider this, is obedience to the Father a waiting game?  No, in fact without obedience no one will enter the kingdom of God.  The Scriptures above are but a few of those that instructs the believer to obey.  In fact if there is a central theme in the Bible it is obedience.  The question then becomes, what exactly does the Father expect us to obey?  The answer is we must read the training manual, we must read the Bible.  Most Christians believe in the words of men never bothering to know the truth which can only be found in God’s word.

Before going further let’s consider a few of the forms our Lord has taken since the beginning of time.  We know Him in the flesh and we know Him in the Spirit but the Scriptures reveal other forms Jesus has taken throughout the ages.  In Exodus we see Jesus taking the form of a burning bush when giving instruction to Moses about setting Israel free from their bondage in Egypt.  “Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  The angel of the Lord appeared to him in the blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.  (Exodus 3:1 & 2)  The angel gave Moses instruction regarding his return to Egypt, “Then Moses said to God, ‘behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.  Now they may say to me, [What is His name?] What shall I say to them?  God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’ ”  (Exodus 3″ 13 – 14)   Some may say, “How do we know it was actually Jesus talking to Moses?  It could have been anyone from God’s angelic host.”  It’s true, it could have been anyone; however, in the gospel of John we find the truth.  In this particular passage we find Jesus in a discussion with a group of Jews.  The Jews became upset with Jesus’s teaching, and actually accused Him of having a demon.  Jesus attempted to disclose Himself to them but they simply could not hear His words.  Finally, “Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify Myself My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, He is our God; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad’.  So the Jews said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?  Jesus said to them., ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’  Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.’ ”  (John 8: 54 – 59)  Any questions?  While Israel wondered in the wilderness they were faced with destruction because they had run out of water.  When they cried out to Moses, God delivered them by providing water for the entire nation from a rock .  “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the  sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ  “(I Cor 10: 1 – 4)  In Revelation John witnessed the opening of the book of seven seals, and it came about that no one in heaven was worthy to open the seals and John, …began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”  And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.  And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.  When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”  (Rev 5: 4 – 8)  In these passages we know Jesus as the Burning Bush, the Rock, and the Lamb of God.  Another form Jesus takes has been known to mankind forever; however, few know It’s true identity.  What form is it?  It’s the Bible, God’s holy Word.  Knowing that Jesus is the Bible gives us knowledge of the mysteries of God.  We’ll never doubt that Jesus in the Burning Bush, the Rock, and the Lamb; however, to believe that He is in the Word is difficult for many to believe. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1: 1, 2 & 14)  Notice John capitalized, “Word.”  He did this so we would know that, in this case, Word is a person not a word that is spoken or written.  In verse 14 we see, “…the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,”  which reveals without a doubt that Jesus is the Word, and Word is the living Christ.  Shortly after Nicki and I became believers the Lord revealed these Scriptures to Nicki.  Since that time He has revealed revelation upon revelation, and  this writing is no exception.  I mentioned there are two things a person will do after being chosen by the Father.  We’ll begin to obey the Lord, and we’ll read the Bible.  We’ve talked about obedience now we’ll learn the importance of reading the Bible, keeping in mind the precious passage above, “…the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…”  We know the Father chooses us for eternal life.  After being chosen we are given to the Word, the Bible.  Go back to the first paragraph and see how many times Jesus indicates we are given to Him by the Father.  When the Father gives us to Jesus He is giving us to the Bible which is Jesus Christ the Son of God.  Also, Jesus is not only the Word, his name is also the Word.  “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  (Rev 19: 11 & 12    Wouldn’t we just love to know that name?  “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”  (Rev 19: 13)  Our precious Father reveals all things to those who are chosen to obey Him.  Most Christians are totally unaware that Jesus is the Bible.  In fact many who read this message are not going to receive this truth.  For those who do understand, “…To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.  But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.  For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desire to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”  (Matt 13: 11, 16 & 17)  Not only are we chosen for everlasting life, we are also chosen, at this period in time, to know the, ” mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”  It wasn’t given to the prophets and righteous men; however, it has been given to us.  The Lord is in charge of all things, and blessed indeed are those who are given the knowledge to understand what the Father has given us to His Son, the Word of God.

 And for what purpose are we given to the Word?  We are given to the Word so we might know who He is, and how we might serve Him.   “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work How in the world can we obey the Lord if we don’t know what He requires.  The Lord wants to teach us, to tell us what we are doing wrong (reproof), to tell us what is right (correction).  And the sole purpose for His teaching is so we might be perfect, like the Father, so we can do the works of the Lord.  I can hear many saying, “we aren’t expected to be perfect.”  “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (Matt 5: 47 & 48)  How can we possibly believe when we really believe, “well nobody’s perfect.”  Who are we going to follow, the words of men, or the words of the Lord?  When the Father chooses us, and gives us to the Word, we no longer seek the teachings of others.  With the birth of each new day we’ll strive to be perfect like our Father   “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.  (1 John 2: 27)  When we are chosen we’ll hear the words of men but we’ll follow the Words of the Lord, and in doing so we’ll understand the Lord wants us to be sanctified.  Here we find the Lord praying for His disciples saying,  “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.  As you sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.  I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you sent Me  (John 17: 16 – 21)  The Lord is praying that His disciples might be sanctified by the Word.  He then testifies that He sanctified Himself.  How did He sanctify Himself?  He listened and obeyed His Father’s words.  Jesus then prays that we might be sanctified through the disciples words.  And where do we find the disciples words?  For starters, how about Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  I can testify that one of the first things I did, after Jesus chose me, was to read the Bible.  Reading the Bible was something I had never done in my entire life.   

This passage will serve as an example of how the Father chooses some and not others.  Lazarus, Jesus’ friend died.  The Lord waited four days then went to Lazarus.    When Jesus arrived Lazarus had been placed in a tomb and was bound in wrappings.  Jesus went to grave site and told the people to remove the stone, “So they removed the stone.  Then Jesus raised his eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that you sent Me.’  When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’  The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’ ”  (John 11: 39 – 44)  Can we imagine this moment?  There simply are no words to describe what Jesus did and yet, “Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.  But some of them went to Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.  So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.”  (John 11:45,46 &53)  All the people at the grave site witnessed the same event, and yet while many believed in Him, others went to the Pharisees who then made plans to kill Jesus.  How could anyone see, or even hear what Jesus had done, then make plans to kill Him.  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” and, For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  (John 6: 44 & 65)  Our Father is omnipotent; He is almighty, all-powerful, invincible.  There in nothing He can’t do, and there is nothing we can do when it comes to salvation and knowledge of His works.   Because of our precious Lord we’ll seek to obey the Word in all things, and we’ll do so with joy, not by rote.  Jesus has called us to be like Him, and as we strive to reach the goal our joy will pass all understanding.  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”  (John 15: 10 & 11)  Love to all!

God Bless!!!

Roger Casterline

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Christmas

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Before we talk about Christmas, we need to visit heaven.  “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’  Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.  And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.  Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.  Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder.  And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.  The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.  And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.’  And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; and because of Your will they existed and were created.’ ”  (Rev 4)   Our Lord just gave us a mini tour of heaven so we might have an idea of the power and glory of God.

Let us continue our tour.  “Boasting is necessary, though it is n0t profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven.  And I know how such a man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows – was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.  Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger to Satan to torment me – to keep me from exalting myself.  (2 Cor 12:  1 – 4 & 7)  Can we imagine what Paul experienced in his vision?  Words were spoken in the third heaven which Paul was not permitted to speak.  Now if inexpressible words were spoken in Paradise I would imagine there are many other inexpressible things in the kingdom of the living God.

For thirty three years Jesus was in the flesh on earth.  Before and after Jesus’ presence on earth He resided with His Father in heavenly places.  Think of the vast period of time Jesus was with the Father compared to the time He was in the flesh, and yet our focus of worship pretty much centers around the thirty three years Jesus was on earth.  We can never thank Him enough for the sacrifices He made for us while on earth; however, He is not on earth now as a flesh man.  He is seated at the right hand of the Father and He’s, …clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.  His head and His hair were white like wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire  His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.  In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.”  (Rev 1: 12 – 16)  Jesus is in the spirit my dear brethren therefore we must worship Him in the spirit.  “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know,  for salvation is from the Jews.  But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.’ ”  (John 4: 21 – 24)  All the things that were available to man when Jesus was on earth are more abundant to us now that Jesus is in the spirit.  “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  After a  little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose My self to him.”  (John 16 – 21)  

We have seen a glimpse of heaven and we know of the the glorious words that are spoken in that place.  We know Jesus in His glorified state and to be in Him gives an unimaginable life while we are yet here on earth; however, our nation has chosen to abandon all our Father has to offer in favor of things we can see here on earth.  We have turned our backs on the greatest gift ever offered to mankind.  “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.   But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying ‘Glory to God in the highest, And upon earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’ ”  (Luke 2: 7 – 14)

 “We the people” know the truth; however, most refuse to accept it being totally deceived.  To understand how deceived we are let us note how we observe Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior.  For starters it’s not Christmas anymore but rather, “Happy Holidays.”  In regards to the Christmas season who gets all the attention and glory?  The Lord of Lords and King of Kings or Santa Clause?  How many times have we taken our children to the mall to hear Santa say, “what do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?”  Have we ever heard Santa say to a child, “what can Jesus do for you this Christmas?”  We are more concerned by whether our children believe, or don’t believe in Santa than we are if they believe in the precious One.  We openly discuss our children’s belief in Santa with family and friends but rarely discuss their relationship with Jesus.  Look at all the Christmas shows that are now appearing on television.  Is there any mention of Jesus in the shows?  Most towns and cities across the country have Christmas parades.  Is Jesus honored and lifted up in the parades?  When I was young I remember Jesus was honored in the schools especially at Christmas time.  Scriptures and stories of Jesus’ birth were common place. Now He is not allowed in our schools or communities except to use His precious name to curse others.  The only One who can give us eternal life has been stricken from the record in our nation.  However, take heart America not all is not lost.  In a few months we’ll have the opportunity to remember our Lord’s death and resurrection.  Easter is just around the corner when our nation will once again worship a rabbit and hard boiled eggs.

This is the Person we should celebrate and worship during Christmas.  Bless the Lord, O my soul!  O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.  He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.  You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains.  At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.  The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which You established for them.  You set a boundary that they may not pass over, So that they will not return to cover the earth.  He sends forth springs in the valleys; They flow between the mountains; They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst.  Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches.  He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.  He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine which makes man’s heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man’s heart.  The trees of the Lord drink their fill, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, Where the birds build their nests, And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.  The high mountains are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim.  He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting.  You appoint darkness and it becomes night, In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about.  The young lions roar after their prey And seek their food from God.  When the sun rises they withdraw And lie down in their dens.  Man goes forth to his work And to his labor until evening. O Lord, how many are Your works!  In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions.  There is the sea, great and broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great.  There the ships move along, And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.  They all wait for You To give them their food in due season.  You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.  You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust.  You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.  Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His words; He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke.  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord.  Let sinners be consumed from the earth And let the wicked be no more.  Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Praise the Lord!  (Psalm 104)  Can Santa and the rabbit, with his hard boiled eggs, accomplish any of the things mentioned in the above Scripture?  Christmas and Easter are the most important events since the beginning of time.  The way we observe them reveals our disconnect from the truth.  It is this way because we worship a religion instead of a relationship“Lord we haven’t a clue who You are, and as a nation we’re totally unaware of Your love for us.  Those who know of you, worship who you were not who you are.  Please Lord Jesus let your presence be known to the peopleWe are so in need of a Sheperd.”  Love to all!

God Bless!!!

Roger D. Casterline

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Politics

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

After being delivered from Egypt the Lord promised the nation of Israel a land of their own, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Before Israel entered the promised land, Moses told of all the good things that would happen if they obeyed the Lord.  “The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body  and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.  The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.  The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.  (Deuteronomy 28: 11 – 14)  Wait a minute.  Aren’t these the same blessings America enjoys today?  Wonder who gave us our blessings?  The blessings of the Lord begin in chapter 1 and run from verses 1 through 14.  The promise for what will happen if Israel disobeyed start in verse 15 and end in verse 68.  I’ll record a portion of those verses.  “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:  Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.  Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.  Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.  Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.  The Lord will send upon curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me.”  (Deuteronomy 28: 15 – 20)  If we’ll just open our eyes we’ll see the curses have already begun in America.  As we read the books of Kings and Chronicles we see the Lord’s blessings and destruction played out over and over again in Israel.  Blessings came when the people obeyed the Lord.  Destruction overcame the people when they disobeyed the Lord.  And in every instance blessings came when the king obeyed the Lord wanting to do the right thing in His sight.  When the King obeyed the Lord the people did the same and the land enjoyed prosperity.  When an evil king took over, one who refused to follow the Lord, the country suffered great hardship and eventually was destroyed.  Those not destroyed were forced off the promised land into exile.  These events have been given to us as examples of what will become of America if we fail to turn away from evil and restore Jesus Christ as Lord in our country.  “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  (Rom 15: 4)  America is in its darkest hour and I am not sure how much longer the Lord will withhold His wrath.  He has warned us with Nine Eleven, killings by illegal aliens, mass killings at the hands of terrorists, bombings, citizens slaughtering each other throughout the land, and massive debt. “We The  People,” have polluted ourselves.  How have we polluted ourselves?  It’s not only what we’ve done, it’s also what we accept.  We accept abortion, homosexuality, fornication, divorce, pornography, movies and television shows that curse our Father while revealing degrading behavior, and the list goes on and on.  The worse act however is our acceptance of Jesus’s removal from our society.  Because we accept these things, and more, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2 Thess 2: 11 & 12)  This Scripture is being played out right before our eyes because, “We The People,” are taking pleasure in unbelievable wickedness.

The three branches of government, which are the Administration, Judicial, and Congressional, will have a lot to answer for on the last day if we fail to change.  First the  Administration.  “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.  But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church?  But those who are outside, God judges…’  (1Cor. 5: 9 – 13)  Our Lord’s message is clear and simple.  Don’t be involved with those inside the church who commit evil acts, and don’t judge those outside the church because the Father Himself will judge them.  The Lord really means it when He says we are not to judge those outside the church for, “…Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgement, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”  (Jude 1: 9)  So in regards to the Administration, in the name of Jesus,  “The Lord rebuke you!” 

The Judicial branch of government is responsible for more death than all the wars ever fought in America because they legalized pornography, abortion, and  homosexuality.  Pornography:  Ted Bundy, a notorious serial killer of women, stated before his execution, that he began his life of crime by feeding off pornography as a youngster.  How many others have been murdered because of pornography?  How many children have been abused because of child pornography?  Abortion:  One of the key issues the Supreme Court used to make abortion legal was that an unborn child is not considered alive until birth.  I guess their education of higher learning didn’t include, “…You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You,  When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for, When as yet there was not one of them.  (Psalm 139: 13 – 16)  Any questions?  We have become so wicked we even dare to destroy His creations.  HomosexualityHow many homosexuals will never repent because the Supreme Court legalized homosexuals to marry?  Legalizing marriage gave consent to their behavior, and will lead to eternal destruction for the masses.  Do we really think that this pitiful, short period of time we spent on earth compares to eternity“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”  (Lev 18: 22)  Some will say, “well that’s the Old Testament.  It’s not nearly as forgiving as the New Testament.”  Oh really.  “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  (1Cor 6: 9 & 10)  Notice the Lord says do not be deceivedI am saddened on this account because most are deceived which means homosexuals are not hearing the message of salvation and ever lasting life.  In reality our society is saying it is alright to be lost forever.  The Justices have indeed fallen out of favor with the only real King.  In this regard our Lord has a word for the Supreme Court of the United States.  Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!  (Isaiah 5: 20& 21)  Lastly the Court’s decision to remove Jesus from the Government, with separation of Church and State, has left the court without the Lord’s presence or council.  The Court listened to those who do not believe in God, and the whole country has, and will suffer for their decision.  People will say, “Things are great in America, nothings really changed.”  That’s what Israel was saying before they were slaughtered and taken into exile.  If, “we the people,” truly believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, how can the Supreme Court possibly remove His name from the government?

When it comes to the United States Congress we only need to understand one thing.  The Constitution identifies Americans as, “We The People;” however, Congress has made themselves separate, identifying themselves as, “We The Me.”

Now lets get down to the topic of this writhing which is “politics.”  For the most part a person doesn’t chose a political party when they first become eligible to vote.  They’ll belong to the party their parents and grandparents belonged to from the beginning of time, and woe to the person who breaks the chain.  Political parties have turned the American people into sheep, and indeed has become a religion itself.  Sheep don’t have the ability to think, and neither do we when it comes to politics.  In fact politics has a stronger effect on people than religion.  A person will quit one church, to attend another, and no one ever gives it a second thought.  But to change from one party to another is a traumatic family event to say the least.  There is however, a correlation between politics and religion.

I have read that eighty five percent of Americans claim to be Christian, and in Christianity I see three different  groups.  I will label each group and relate how each relates to politics.  The first group are those who do not believe in our Father.  The Lord has told us not to accuse this group because, those who are outside, God judges.”  Therefore I won’t say anything further.  In this group most don’t bother to vote, and those who do look to family party lines to make their choices.

The second group are the believers.  This group is very small in number, actually just a, few.”  We’ll see what I mean by just a “few” in the Scripture below.  A couple of months ago I stopped by to get a blood test at the request of my doctor.  My healthcare program requires me to get a blood test every three months so I am a frequent visitor to the clinic.  I guess at my age it’s the only sure way the doctor can determine if I am still alive.  I always try to be the first one at the clinic so I get up early in the morning to be the first in line before the doors open.  After all my scheming and hustling around early in the morning, to be number one, I have yet to be the first one in line.  On this visit there was an elderly, gray haired lady, already waiting at the door before I arrived.  I thought to my self, “some things just never change.”  We exchanged, “hellos,” as I took my usual second place in line.  We began talking and I mentioned the Lord in our conversation.  When I mention His Name she gave me a piercing glance which sank deep into my soul, and said, “Are You A Believer?”  She didn’t ask me if I was a Christian or what church I attendant.  She simply asked if I was a believer.  I said yes, and from that point on our conversation was about the Lord.  I came to find out she was a missionary with New Tribe Missions (NTM) which is located down the road from where I live in Sanford, Florida.  Missionaries with NTM travel to the deepest jungles of the world to locate tribes that have never had contact with the outside world.  Once the missionaries earn their trust they learn their language so they can record the Bible, or parts of Bible.  The tribe then learns to read their own language and salvation follows.  The missionaries are by themselves in the remotest parts of the earth and are completely reliant upon the Lord for all things.  Believe me they know Him.  I was at a prayer breakfast a number of years ago and several NTM missionaries were at the meeting.  One of the missionaries was asked to offer the prayer before the meal.  After the prayer I knew I was in the presence of a believer who had a deep, deep, personal relationship with Jesus.  It was the most humble prayer I’d ever heard, and I felt Jesus was indeed present to hear his every word.  The missionary was in the flesh but during this prayer he and Jesus were the only ones in the room.  This brother was a indeed a believer.  In regards to politics a believer is very cautious when it comes to voting not wanting to offend the Lord.  Others refuse to vote knowing the evil that is part of the political process.  If we doubt the, “evil” part, just listen to the way politicians talk to each other, and about each other, and that’s just for starters.  It should be noted that, although few” in number, many believers do attend church services on Sunday.

The third group I will classify as religious people.  Religious people are  those who know of Jesus.  They attend church on a regular bases, some wear the Lord’s Cross around their necks, and some attach Christian bumper stickers on their cars.  This group believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  Of those who claim to be Christian this is the largest group, and the most likely to vote.  They are also the most puzzling to me.  I’ve heard political figures, who profess to be Christians say they don’t believe in abortion even though their party does.   Wh———–ah.  How in God’s name can we not believe in abortion then belong to a party whose major component in their platform is abortion.  Yet that is exactly what we do when we say we don’t believe in abortion then vote for the party that does.  We go to church, wear the cross, and apply the bumper sticker, then walk into the voting booth and cast a vote for the destruction of God’s creations.  We say that we are Christians then walk into the booth and vote against the Precious One when He says that certain behavior is an abomination.   We think its alright because our parents and grandparents are party members?  I have news for religious folks.  I am old to say the least, and I can tell you that many of the parents and grandparents in my generation would not have never voted for such obvious evil regardless of their party affiliation.  We can’t place the corrupt system of  politics over the Kingdom of the most high God.  And if we don’t repent, and quit backing wickedness, we’ll never enter the heavenly kingdom we are so sure our church membership guarantees.

The comment I most here about out our behavior is, “well things are different now.”  Well that may be true; however, God hasn’t changed which means we’re in trouble.  We must remember what the Lord shared with us at the beginning of this message.  “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence And why will He send a deluding influence?  “so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all my be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”  The message is very simple.  If we are living by what is false the deluding influence is at work in our lives.  We all know what sin is, and if the Lord doesn’t cause us to give it up we shall be judged.  When the Lord revealed His relationship to me I was very excited; however, I did hesitate because I was not sure I was ready to give up my old life.  I am so glad the Lord kept me moving forward because there is absolutely no comparison between His light and the false hope a deluding influence has to offer.  

I know people will say, “he’s just trying to get votes for his party.  No, this is the reason I am writing this message.  “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it.  (Matt 7:  13 & 14)  There’s that word again.  The word few” which I referenced above.  Do we truly understand what our Lord is telling us?  The operative word here is, few.”  Few will find the narrow path that leads to ever lasting life.  Now the question, why is it that way?  What is it that leads the masses to destruction?  Here’s the answer, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits…”  (Matt 7: 15 & 16)  It, “ain’t rocket science,” folks.  If a person is telling us to do anything that is contrary to God’s Word we are being led by a false prophet.  We know their fruit because they are saying, and doing things that are totally against God’s will.  If we don’t repent and stop listening to them we will be lost forever.  You won’t hear this message in churches on Sunday.  Why?  Because a pastor will lose most of his congregation.  People in churches today, “…will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  (2 Tim 4: 4)  The Lord knew how America would act one day so He wrote us a letter which He sent to the angel of the church in Laodicea.  “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:  ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor not; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are luke-warm, and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.  Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.’ ”  (Rev 3: 14 – 19)  Even though the Lord admonishes us, and it  would appear there’s no way out, He finishes His letter by saying, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.  He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 3: 19 – 22)

Many will say, “why are you bringing the church into politics?”  Because if the eighty five percent of people who say they are Christians would refuse to vote for false prophets we wouldn’t have the problems we have today.  What would happen if Christians stopped voting for all politicians who backed abortion?  The practice of abortion would be stopped over night.  Our government is a reflection of, “We The People.”  If we continue to back false prophets, and by our vote place them in positions of authority, things will continue to deteriorate.  Do we really think our Lord will bless our nation’s leaders with wisdom when they refuse to follow Him?  When we threw Jesus out of government all righteousness went with Him.  America will change when Christians become believers instead of church goers.  Some will think these words to be harsh; however, it won’t be as harsh as when our Lord decides to put an end to our foolish, evil behavior.

For thirty-five years of my life I was a religious person.  However I did not want to be known as a religious person.  I would have hated for people to say, “Oh, he’s religious.”  That would have been too sissified for me.  I wanted to be one of the guys, and my behavior indeed portrayed that imagine.  Then one day, out of no where, I understood that God was my Father.  It was not a religious experience, it was a relationship experience like I had with my earthly father.  From that moment on His presence has never left me, and I do my best to obey Him in all things.  All the things I use to do to have fun and pleasure in the world doesn’t  compare to the joy I’ve found through obedience to Him.  When we think of the word, “father,” do we think of religion?  No, because the word, “father,” identifies with a relationship.  It’s no different with our heavenly Father.  He wants us to know Him, to be with Him, to talk with Him, to ask Him questions.  He wants us to know Him in all things, and to totally rely on Him.  When He allows us to be that close all things become new.  Sin is the only reason He will not allow us to be close to Him.  Simply sitting in the pew on Sundays, then doing our own thing during the week, will not cut it with the Father.  Yet the masses are doing it this way which is the reason Jesus says, “…the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  (Matt 7: 14)  This is reality folks, and the only way we can personally change it is to die to the bondage of sin.  The only way we can remove the bondage of sin is to be sanctified, and the only way we can become sanctified is by the truth, and the only way we can know the truth is by HIS WORDSanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”  (John 17: 17 )  A word of caution my dear brothers and sisters.  When a large number of religious people become believers, persecution will indeed follow.  In its present condition America will not tolerate people who are totally reliant upon Jesus Christ.  

Who are we going follow; false prophets or the Lord?  “Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.  Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire, and there was a radiance around Him.”  (Ezekiel 1: 27 & 28)   This is our Father.  “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me.  And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lamp stands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.  His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes are like a flame of fire.  His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.  In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength(Rev. 1: 12 – 16)  This is the Son.  Now that we have a visual, whom shall we chose?  The Father and His Son, or the False Prophet?  Truth is most in our nation chose the false prophet.  It’s this way because we are looking through the eyes of religion not the eyes of relationship.  Our Father and our Lord are not religious figures that we visit on Sunday mornings.  They are eternal, and Their relationship with us is also eternal.  Our relationship with the Father and Son begins right now, right here on earth.  “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.  This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (John 17: 2 & 3)  Eternal life begins when we know Him.  Death has no place in this matter.  And where do we find Him, how do we know Him?  “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John 1: 14)  Jesus is the Word, They are One and the Same.  So when we know Him (the Word),  and obey Him (His Word) we walk in heavenly places with the One whose appearance is like fire, and there was a radiance around Him, and whoseface was like the sun shining in its strength.  Everything we know and see in the universe was created by His power which was fueled by His love for us.  Do we know of anything, or anybody, who laid down their life for us so we might live with Him now, and for evermore?  Love to all!                         

God Bless!!!

Roger D. Casterline

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His Name

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

I would like to review a portion of my posting to lend continuity to this message.  From my last message we know that Jesus is indeed the Word of God, the Bible.  The Word is actually a person, and we can see Him in His purest form every time we read the Bible.  “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:  1 & 14)  Now that we know Christ is the Word, seeking Him becomes much more certain.  By seeking the Word, the Scriptures come alive with revelation upon revelation.  One revelation our Lord will reveal in this writing is His name.  Our Lord has several names; however, this name will unlock the Scriptures for us like never before.  

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  (Rev 19: 11)  As we read this passage we discover two additional names, “…He who sat on it is call Faithful and True…”  Now we come to a mystery name.  “His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and he has a name written on Him which on one knows except Himself.  (Rev 19: 12)  Wouldn’t we just give anything to know the name that only Christ Himself knows.  But wait, “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that he takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  (John 16: 15)  “For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM?  But we have the mind of Christ.”  (1 Cor 2: 16)  Now if God is going to disclose all things to us, if we indeed have the mind of Christ, shouldn’t our Father enable us to know the name of Jesus, the name that know one knows except Himself?  “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”  (Rev 19: 13)  There it is.  Jesus is not only the Word, it is also His name.  His name is the, “Word of God.”  Because our Father has given us His name, the name no one knows except Himself, Scripture comes alive giving us direction and understanding.  

I have recorded twenty four passages in which, “in His Name,” is mentioned.  There are many more such passages; however, I quit recording them after twenty four.  Three of the twenty four read as follows.  “And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”  (Matt 12: 21)  Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”  (John 14: 13 & 14)  “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  (1 John 5: 13)  We know His name is the Word of God, so now when we read the same three Scriptures we understand: in the Word of God the Gentiles will hope, if we ask in the Word of God that will I do, ask me anything in the Word of God, and I will do it, and if we believe in the Word of God we will know that we have eternal life.  Every time we read “His Name” in the Scriptures we have assurance that our precious Lord has chosen us to know He is referring to the Word of God, the Bible.  Does that mean we must now end our prayers with “in the name of the Word” instead of “in the name of Jesus?”  Of course not.  It’s not about what we say or not say.  It’s about our gaining knowledge from our heavenly Father which gives us a deeper understand of His love for us.  As I mentioned above, knowing that Jesus’ name is the, “Word of God,” gives us direction and understanding.  For example, “This is the confidence which we have before Him that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”  (1 John 5: 14 & 15)  Jesus tells us that when we ask anything according to His will, He will hears us.  And how do we know His will?  Be knowing His name, the Word of God.  Direction – we know where to go to find His will.  Understanding – we know He’ll give us our request when we ask according to  the Word of God, which is His will.      

Read these passages, and in so doing think of His name, or in my name, as meaning the Word of God.  “I am no longer in the world;and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You.  Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.”  (John 17: 11)  “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”  (Matt 18: 19 & 20)  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  (John 14: 26)  Jesus asks the Father to keep us in His Word so we might be one even as He and the Father are one.  Jesus says that when two or three are gathered together in His Word, He is in their midst.  Think of it, every time we are together in Bible study Christ is with us.  Why?  Because Jesus is the Bible, the Word of God.  The Father will send the Holy Spirit to us in His Son, the Word of God.  He will teach us all things and remind us of all that He has said to us.  By understanding and living in His Word, we can inherit the kingdom of God while on earth.   “Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 14: 16 & 17)  We don’t inherit the kingdom of God when we die.  We inherit the kingdom of God when we have righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  And where do we find the Holy Spirit?  We find Him in His Name, the Word of God, the Bible.  Read Jesus and and  walk daily in His glorious kingdom.  “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all who You have given Him, He may give eternal life.  This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (John 17: 2 & 3)  Jesus is the Word.  To know the Word is to have eternal life.

Our Lord taught many things with parables.  In one parable He talked about the sower who went out to sow.  Some seed fell beside the road and the birds ate it up.  Other seed fell on rocky ground where it withered away because it had no roots.  Other seed fell among thorns and it yielded no crop.  Other seed fell into good soil which yielded thirty, sixty, and hundredfold.  After telling the parable Jesus’ disciples asked Him to explain the parable, and He said to them, “The sower sows the word.  These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown, and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.  In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.  And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.  And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil, and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”  (Mark 4: 14 – 20)  Everyone who has ever lived on earth fits into one of the four categories mentioned in the parable.  The question we must, must, must, MUST ask ourselves, which category are we in.  

A man decides to rebuild his car engine.  He takes the engine apart down to the last nut and bolt.  After the parts are laying all over his garage, the man realizes he can’t remember how to put the engine back together.  He solves the problem by purchasing a manual from the dealership.  Bring  the manual home, the man intends to rebuild his engine; however, he becomes distracted with other things leaving the engine in pieces on the garage floor.  This story is not a parable because there is no hidden meaning.  It’s simple.  The engine will not get put back together because the man purchased an instruction manual.  He has to read the manual then get to work putting the engine back together.  The vast majority of Christians are like this man.  We have the manual but seldom, if ever, read it.  Our only exposure to the Word is on Sunday mornings when a few Scriptures are read before the sermon.  Then most leave the service feeling satisfied having confidence in their membership instead of His Lordship.    Believe me I am not taking a shot at preachers.  “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?  And how will they hear without a preacher?  (Romans 10: 14)  Preachers are saying the same thing I am saying; however, for the most part the members are not listening thereby forfeiting the joy that comes with seeking the Word themselves.  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Fathers’ commandments and abide in His Love.  These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”  (John 15: 10 & 11)  Preachers are charged by the Father to lead the lost to Christ.  Once they are truly with Christ they’ll learn, “… do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is you Father, He who is in heaven.  Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is Christ.”  (Matt 23:  8 – 10)  Sounds like a strange creed for us to worship by doesn’t?  Yes it does sound strange which shows us how far we are from the truth.  

We can see Jesus right now in His purest form because He is the Word, the Bible, and we can know His will for us by His name which is the “Word of God.”  Every time we see it written, “in His name,” we know He is referring to the Word of God, the Scriptures.  Now when we read the Scriptures we not only see Him, He can also speak to us in His name.  We are receiving very little of what Christ wants for us.  Why?  Because we are relying on the words of men instead of the Word of God.  We will not know real joy until we do what Jesus says when He pleads,“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.”  (Matt 11:  28 – 30)  The only way to find Jesus, and to know His will, is to READ JESUS.  We’ll never know Him if we expect someone else to find Him for us. 

God Bless!!!

Roger D. Casterline

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Word Of His Power

Friday, August 28th, 2015

In previous messages I have written about God’s Word.  The Word, as revealed in Scripture, is far different than what we speak or what is written.  “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1: 1)  We know what words are; however, in   Scripture Word is actually a person, and that person is Jesus.  “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1: 14)  Jesus, the Son of the living God is Word.  Do we truly understand the significance of what the Father has done?  He has made it possible for us to not only know Jesus, but to actually see Him with our eyes.  Is not the Bible the Word of God?  Of course it is.  That being the case Who must the Bible be?  The Bible, the Word of God, is Jesus Christ in His purest form.  In the world these things seem like nonsense; however, we are not of the world, we are of the Spirit.

There are numerous places in Scriptures which state that Jesus is the creator of all things.  This is difficult to comprehend because Genesis clearly reveals God as the creator.  However, now that we know Jesus is the Word it’s a whole knew ballgame.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”  (John 1: 2 & 3), and this, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  (John 17: 5)  Jesus, the Word, was with the Father in the beginning, before the world was.  Not only was he with the Father, All things came into being through Him…”  Wait a minute, hold the presses, call in the fact checkers.  I don’t see anything in Genesis that would indicate that Jesus was with the Father at the dawn of the creation.  In as much as Jesus is the Word, let us take another look at first chapter of Genesis to see what really happened.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.  Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light…'” (verses 1 -3)  “Then God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters…'”  (6)  “Then God said, ‘Let the waters below and heavens be gathered into one place…'”  (9)  “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation…'”  (11)  “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures…'”  (24)  “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…'”  (26)  From verse 26 we know that there were actually three at the creation, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  And how did God actually create all things, “Then God said.”  God spoke the Word, and the Word, Jesus, went forth and created all things.  Fact is, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1: 16 & 17)   

Can we imagine a force so powerful that it was able to create all things?  It wasn’t power, it was Word.  “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.  And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power...”  (Hebrews 1: 1 – 3)  Look at, “by the word of His power.”  That doesn’t sound right, it should be, “the power of His word.”  That would be true if God had not created all things by His Word.  Can we see power?  We can see the effects of power; however, the force that produces power is unseen.  The Word, Jesus Christ, is the creator of power.  Power was born through Word therefore is a stronger force that power.  Power was derived from Word which explains why it is correct for our Lord to say, “the word of His power.”  The Word is absolute power, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4: 12)  Try as I may I cannot accurately define, “the word of His power.”  What’s astonishing the Father chose to give His followers “the word of His power,” when He gave us Word, the Bible, His Son, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  Our Lord will not disappoint.  The pursuit of the Word, will produce faith.  Faith with action will reveal to the world, “the word of His power.”  It’s been done before by Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses,  and Rahab.    “And what more shall I say?  For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak. Samson. Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouth of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”    (Hebrews 11: 32 – 34)  Lets not forget the healings, miracles, and resurrections from the dead by Jesus and His disciples.  If we want to witness “the word of His power” in today’s world all we have to do is see our brothers and sisters being slaughtered because of their faith in Christ.  Can we imagine being pressed to make such a decision for Him.  Only through “the word of His power” can we glorify our Lord by experiencing such an event.

Sanctification is a word we hear quite often in the Scriptures; however, the process of  being sanctified, to be cleansed, to be pure is rarely mentioned in the halls of religion.  Most believe the ticket to ever lasting life is being a church member, and as a result miss the blessings that are associated with sanctification.  Truth is there is only one way to be sanctified, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”  (John 17: 17)  Not the words of men but the Word of God is what sanctifies us, and Jesus does not expect us to do anything He hasn’t already done.  “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.”  (John 17: 19)  Now if Jesus expects us to be sanctified by the word where did He get it from.  Did He take classes, attend Bible studies, or watch videos to find the truth?  No, of course not.  He received truth from His Father.  “…When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.”  (John 8: 28)   Jesus received the word from His father, Who in turn gave it to His disciples, who gave it to us through their writings, the Bible.  Yes, Jesus was the Son of God; however, it wasn’t simply because God said so.  As God’s Son He obeyed the Father’s words even to the point of dying a horrible death on the cross.  “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.  And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.  (Hebrews 5: 8 – 10)  Jesus was made perfect by the word of truth, and He expects us to be perfected, to be sanctified the same way He was.  Our Lord wants us to know that  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17)   So why were the Scriptures given to us?  They were given so we would understand what we are doing wrong (reproof), so we might walk in such a manner that is pleasing to the Father (correction).  Our Father wants us to understand these things so we might be trained in righteousness, just like Jesus was trained in righteousness, by the Father’s words.  And why does He want us to be trained in righteousness?  “…so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  Any time we take a job on earth we go through a training process.  It is no different when it comes to working for our Father; however, in order for our training to take place we must first read the training manual, the Word.  Unfortunately, “Concerning him (Melchizedek) we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.  But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5: 11 – 14)  

Many will ask, “is it really necessary to read the Bible?”  “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and any one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Luke 10: 22)    Then there is this, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me, and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.  …If any one loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”  (John 14: 21, 23 & 24)  In answer to our question, is it really necessary to read the Bible?  Only if we want the Son to reveal the Father to us.  Only if we want Jesus to know that we love Him.  Only if we want Jesus to disclose Himself to us.  Only if we want the Father and the Son to make Their abode with us.

Probably the most important reason for us to read Scriptures is because, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not  pass away.”  (Matt 24:35)  Remembering that His words will not pass away, let us consider the day of judgement, “…a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened;and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.”  (Rev. 20: 11 & 12)  At the judgement we will be judged by the books that are opened and the book of life.  We know that our names must appear in the book of life to inherit ever lasting life, but what are the other books that are opened?  How about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, “and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.”  We’re going to be judged by the books of the Bible.  After Jesus’ resurrection He appeared to His disciples.  “Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…'”  (Luke 24:44 & 45)  If we seek the Word with all our being, He will indeed open our minds to understand the Scriptures.

In regards to Jesus being sanctified, we can see this being played out in Psalm 119.  With 176 verses, it is the longest chapter in the Bible.  In this chapter we see Jesus pleading with the Father for His word, His testimonies, His ordinances, His commandments.  I do not have the words to reveal Jesus’ passion for the Father’s words.  I am recording the first eight verses of Psalm 119 in this writing to illustrate our Lord’s words to our Father with the understanding that the last 168 verses are the same as the first eight verses.  “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the Lord.  How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.  They also do no unrighteousness;They walk in His ways.  You have ordained your precepts, That we should keep them diligently.  Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!  Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandmentsI shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgmentsI shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!  (Psalm 119: 1 – 8)  All the verses in Chapter 119 have one simple message, seek the Word and obey it.   

Jesus wants us to be sanctified in the truth as He was sanctified.  Now the question, where was Jesus when he was sanctified?  Did it happen before He came to earth or after He was born on earth?  When Jesus was twelve years old He was separated from his parents for three days.  They found Him in the temple talking to the priests.  His parents were not at all pleased because He had been missing for three days, “And he said to them, ‘Why is it that you were looking for Me?  Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?'”  (Luke 2: 49)  Later in life Jesus says, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  (John 17: 5)   From these passages we know that Jesus knew He was God’s Son from an early age.  He also remembered being with the Father, “before the world was.”  Jesus knew He had been with the Father from the beginning so surely He was sanctified before He was born on earth.  No, sanctification came after coming to earth.  Why would Jesus need sanctification if He was in the Spirit, without the influence of sin, prior to His birth.  We are sanctified while living on earth so Jesus also had to receive sanctification while He was in the flesh.   Remember, He learned obedience through the things which He suffered.  Christ became a man, He was in the flesh, and His Father required Him to learn obedience just like He does for us.  He was obedient even to the point of dying a horrible death for our sins.  It was His final act of sanctification which established His place at the right hand of the Father.  

As we know, Jesus is the Word, the Holy Bible.  Every time we hold the Bible we are holding Christ in our hands. We actually see Him in His purest form.  Yes, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, but He left Himself with us so we might know Him, and have eternal life here on earth.  “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus whom You have sent.”  (John 17: 3)  Eternal life doesn’t begin when we die.  Eternal life begins when we know the Word.  As the Word then sanctifies us, we are to serve Him in the Word of His Power.      

Please feel free to leave a message at this site.  Love to all!

God Bless!!!

Roger Casterline

 

 

 

 

 

                       


                

The 79 Percent

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Four men came together to plan a back robbery.  They cased the bank for several weeks, and set a date for the robbery.  On the day of the bank robbery three men went into the bank, and the fourth man was posted outside the bank in the get away car.  Upon entering the bank the robbers encountered a problem they had not planned for, and  things got out of control.  The bank guard had gone into the restroom, and upon returning to the lobby, one the robbers over reacted and shot the guard to death.  During the commotion a bank teller hit the silent alarm which was unknown to the robbers.  After the shooting the robbers quickly took the money they had collected and rushed to the get away car.  Because the police had been alerted the bank robbers were apprehended a block from the bank.  The four men were charged with robbery and murder, and after a lengthy trial all the robbers were found guilty as charged.  Before the sentencing phase the attorney for the robber who drove the get away car appealed to the judge for a lesser sentence stating his client had not touched the money nor had been involved in the officer’s death.  The judge denied the appeal stating that even though the driver had not entered the bank, or was involved in the shooting, he was still a willing participant in the robbery.  As a result of their conviction, the Judge sentenced all four men to a very, very, very long prison term.

A few months ago I was watching a news show on television which featured several panel members.  They were discussing the problems in the middle east, and their attention turned to the Christians who were being killed because of their faith.  At this point one of the panel members identified himself as a Christian stating, “I am a devout Christian.”  One of the other panel members then asked, “how do you feel about abortion,” and the Christian fellow stated, “I don’t believe in abortion.”  I about fell out of my chair because I knew that particular panel member, who said he was a Christian,  to be a staunch worker and supporter for his political party which not only believes in abortion but uses millions of tax payer dollars to support the abomination.  Like the get away driver, won’t our Father find him, “the devout Christian,” just as guilty as those who make abortion possible in this country, and do all they can to fund it’s mission.  The leadership of his party also supports homosexuality, and gay marriage, and fornication (having sex out of wedlock).  One might say how could a political party support fornication.  Before the last general election the leader of the, “devout,” Christian’s party offered free birth control to women.  What do we think?  Would free birth control encourage righteousness or fornication?  How could a person who says they’re a Christian, a devout one at that, be so deceived?  Now if the guy who drove the get away car was guilty, won’t we be found guilty by backing those who promote such abominations previously mentioned.  Think of how many people will be lost for eternity because our leaders back behavior that is clearly against our Father’s will.  Won’t those loses be on our heads if we back people who who are so bold so as to defy our heavenly Father ?

Before going further let me once again review the Lord’s take on the abominations listed above.  Abortion:  “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”  (1 Cor.3: 16 & 17)  There is nothing more righteous, more God like, than a baby in the mother’s womb, and yet we think nothing of destroying them.  Those who take part in the abortion process God will indeed destroy if they do not repent.  Taking a part in the process includes the, “devote Christian,” who staunchly supports those who make abortion possible in this country.  Homosexuality and Fornication:  “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, no adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”  (1 Cor. 10: 9 & 10)  Then there is this.  “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”  (Leviticus 18: 22)  I have written about these matters before and one may say that I hate homosexuals and people who promote abortion.  Not true, why, because I am telling the truth, and the truth is if they repent they can have eternal life.  The ones who hate them are our leaders who not only accept their behavior, but through their acceptance encourage others to do the same.  As Paul states, “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?  They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them.”  (Galatians 4: 16 &17) Isn’t this passage a perfect example of what our leaders are doing?  Those who are weak in faith, or have no faith at all, are being deceived, and will be lost forever without repentance.  And if we back leaders who advocate the behavior mentioned above we are just as guilty as those who participate in the behavior, and those who promote such behavior.  Not only do they participate and promote, they harshly come against those who point out the error of their ways. Our Lord has a message, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”  (Proverbs 17: 15)  As a foot note I recently learned that our government has allocated tax dollars to transgender therapy for illegals who are imprisoned.  These are people we elected to office not once but twice.  You talk about being deceived.  Our Father’s greatest miracle is His patience.  If it weren’t, He would have wiped us off the earth by now.  Yet our Father has a firm rebuke for America.  “You have wearied the LORD with your words.  Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied Him?’  In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them,’ or, ‘Where is the God of justice?'”  (Malachi 2: 17) 

According to surveys 79 percent of the people in America are of the Christian faith.  If that is the case, how could anyone get into office who advocates, abortion, homosexuality, and fornication?   The truth is plain and simple.  A large portion of the 79 percent support people who believe in these abominations.  I believe there are three groups that make up the 79 percent.  The first group is very large.  They believe that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is His Son which in the survey qualifies them as being a Christian.  However these people fail to realize Satan believes that much.  “You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”  (James 2: 19) 

The second group is also a large group of people, who see Jesus as a religion.  They attend a denominational church, some a lot and others on occasion.  They’re faith is based on their denomination.  They believe that by belonging they are assured a place in heaven.  If we don’t believe this explain why does attendance sore on Christmas and Easter.  The Pastors in these institutions are regarded as spiritual leaders; and therefore, the congregation is content to receive their spiritual guidance through him.  Many members seek popular Bible teachers to teach them.  As a result we rarely, if ever, read the Scriptures to find our Father’s purpose for our their lives.  Instead we rely heavily on the created instead of the Creator.  If we believe this is not true, listen to whom people quote in their Bible studies.  Is it Jesus or some man?  In regards to denominations,“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.  I do not receive glory from men but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.  I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”  (John 5: 39 – 44)  Every domination has a doctrine.  Where do they get the doctrine?  They, “search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”  In regards to doctrine, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.  BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.”  (Matt 15: 7 – 9)  Do we believe we’ll  be divided by church denomination when we get to heaven?  Of course we do.  At almost every service we pray saying,  “…Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven…” (Matt 6: 9 & 10)  If our Father asks us to pray for things to be done on earth like they are in heaven we must surely believe there are denominations in heaven.  Of course we do not believe this is true, but we sure do practice it.  Many in the second group will take part in earthy things which are contrary to what our Father wants for His children.  How can we possibly say we, “seek the glory that is from the one and only God” then support leaders who believe in measures that are anti Christ in nature.  Do we honestly believe our Lord is going to impart His wisdom on such leaders?  Before concluding this segment let me say that I do not think it is wrong to attend church.  However I do believe it to be a tragic mistake to believe membership insures our place in heaven.

A small percentage of people comprise the third group.  These people recognize Jesus as a relationship.  Some in this group attend denominational churches, others do not.  The one thing they have in common is they follow the Lamb, and are totally committed to Him. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.  To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”  (John 10: 1 – 5) 

The vast majority of the 79 percent are confident in their salvation; however, because of the activities they take part in it is evident they are deceived.  How can I make such a statement?  Because in order to enter into life we must, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter though it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.  (Matt 7: 13 – 14)    Far to many of our number have been deceived, and are following ravenous wolves which accounts for the ungodliness we see in our society.  Jesus was with his disciples, “As He was sitting on the Mount of olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming. and of the end of the age?’  And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying, [I am the Christ,] and will mislead many.‘”  (Matt 24: 4 – 6)  When Jesus was asked by His disciples about the end of the age and His return, think of the, “mind blowing,” answer He could have given them.  Instead He simply said, “See to it that no one misleads you.”  He goes on to say that many (not a few), many will come in His name and mislead many.  Jesus is not saying that many will come saying that they are Jesus Christ.  He’s saying they will come testifying that Jesus is the Christ and thereafter mislead many.  Who are these people anyway.  They are preachers and Bible teachers, and sadly leaders of our country.  Praise God for the people many people who preach the Gospel, and who are writing and preaching the Scriptures encouraging people in the Word.  However, there are also many people who mislead others with their teachings.  I don’t want anyone to believe that all pastors and teachers are misleading their flocks, because “…He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”  (Ephesians 4: 11 – 15)  Any pastor or teacher who does not teach others to learn from the Lord has indeed lost his way.    

Matt. 7: 13 & 14 tells us that the masses are going to destruction.  The question is why is this happening.  Continuing to verse 15 we find that we must, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves,  You will know them by their fruits.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”  (Matt 7: 15 & 16)  Our Lord is not talking about apple trees and orange trees when He talks about fruit.  He’s talking about people who advocate teachings and practices that are contrary to righteousness.  The false prophets our Lord is talking about are seated in the halls of government, and other places of leadership in our society even in the pulpit.  We cannot know a false prophet by what he says; however, we can know them by what they believe, accompanied with the administration of their beliefs.  Because people who believe and follow their practices the masses are being led to destruction.  How did these people get in positions of power?  It happened because a large number of “the 79 percent” chose to back them.

Our Precious One does have an answer for us all.  “And He also spoke a parable to them: ‘A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he?  Will they not both fall into a pit?  A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.'”  (Luke 6: 39 & 40)   If we make a leader of a faith our teacher will we not be like him after we are fully trained?  If we make the Scriptures our teacher won’t we be like Jesus after we are fully trained?  Some will say it is outrageous to even think that we can be like Christ.  “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same.  Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (Matt 5: 47 & 48)  Then there is this.  “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.'”  (1 Peter 1: 14 – 16)  As long as we think we can’t be holy we will not make any effort to be holy.  What is it we say when someone messes up?  “Well, nobody’s perfect.”  Our Father not only wants us to be perfect, He expects us to be perfect.  I know I am not perfect; however, I do know the goal.  Each step we take towards perfection the closer our relationship becomes with our Father.  The first thing I said to my self when I first met Christ was, “I can’t really do this.  I’ll have to give up too much, I won’t have anymore fun.”  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you so that My my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”  (John 15: 10 – 11)  Let us not be deceived my dear family and friends.  No matter what the world may say, the only path to real, ever lasting joy, is through obedience to Christ who is the glorious Word of God.”  “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

To all the brethren I say we must put on the armor of God to prepare for battle, for our battle is not against flesh and blood.  It would be a huge mistake to come against flesh and blood when the real battle is fought in heavenly places.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREAST-PLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints”…)  (Ephesians 6: 10 – 18)  For the believer these things are a must because we are indeed nearing the end.  I say this because the signs of His coming are with us today.  “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.  Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness in revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”  ( 2 Thess 2: 1 – 4) 

There are three things that must happen before the Precious One comes.  First there must be a falling away from the faith which is the apostasy, the anti christ is revealed, and finally the anti christ will seat himself in the temple of God displaying himself as being God.  The time frame for these events is  unknown except to the Father; however, the end could be closer than we think.  The reason I believe we’re close is because the apostasy, the falling away from the faith, has already begun.  In fact it’s been going on for many years.  Let me explain.  I always thought that falling away from the faith meant that many people would quit going to church.  Actually there is something very different taking place.  If we put leaders in office that believe in abortion, advancement of homosexual activity and fornication, are we not falling away from the faith?  If we back movies and television shows that curse our Father and His Son from start to finish, are we not falling away from the faith?  If men and women live together out of wedlock, are we not falling away from the faith?  If our divorce rate is above fifty percent, is that not falling away from the faith?  Look at all the things we feel, touch, and hear, knowing full well it is not God’s will for us to take part.  Is that not falling away from the faith?  The tragic reality is that a very large portion of “The 79 Percent” back these things which in turn makes them as guilty as those who institute such evil.  If this were not true, none of these things would exist in our society.  Any time we take part of what the world has to offer, we deny ourselves a relationship with the One who created all the things we see, and cannot see.  The worst thing that could ever happen to us is to see Him face to face, to know His love, then to be cast out of His presence for an eternity.  To say, “I am sorry,” erases a multitude of sins.

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The Holy Spirit Part 2

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

To begin this message lets review God’s appointing of gifts in the body of Christ.  “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.”  (1 Cor 12:28) As members of the body of Christ it is so very important to use our gifts with all humility so as to edify the body.  It is a huge mistake to seek our own glory for, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'”  (Matthew 7: 21 – 23)  Wait a minute, how could God deny access to His kingdom to those who were prophesying, casting out demons, and performing many miracles?  Yes they were administering gifts of the Holy Spirit; however, in doing so they lacked the one thing that is paramount in God’s eyes.  

“If I speak with the tongues of man and of angels, but do not have love I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender  my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (1 Cor 13:  1 – 3)   After reading this passage it is quite evident our Father places great emphasis on love.  This being the case we would be wise to understand God’s interpretation of love.  “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; it there is knowledge, it will be done away.”  (1 Cor 13: 4 – 8 )  If we pay close attention we can see that God’s love is all about action.  Worldly love is emotional.  Godly love is action.  Think about it, do we know people love us by what they say, or by how they treat us?  In this instance talk is definitely cheap.  Does this mean we should not seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit?  Absolutely  should, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.  (1 Cor 14: 1)

In order for us to receive spiritual gifts we must first be baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit.  For John the baptist tells us, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  (Matt 3: 11)  In our culture we practice baptism by water which is according to His word.  In some cases people are baptized when they are infants with the sprinkling of water.  Older children and adults are many times submerged in water.  My question is why aren’t people being baptized by Jesus with His precious Holy Spirit?  The reason is because the vast majority of churches in America do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit; however, just because a church doesn’t believe, doesn’t mean a believer cannot receive our Lord’s precious gift.  Keep in mind baptism in the Holy Spirit is from God, not an earthly church.  Searching the Scriptures I have found three ways our Lord baptizes with power from on high.  The first and most notable experience is when the Holy Spirit falls on the believer like He did on the day of Pentecost.  Also the Holy Spirit fell on people when Peter was talking to a group of Gentiles.  As Peter states, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.”  (Acts 11: 15)  A second way to receive the baptism is by the laying on of hands.  Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.  For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.”  (Acts 8: 14 – 17)  Receiving the Holy Spirit is not about works.  It’s about about faith which brings us to the third way to receive the baptism.  “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.  Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  It you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  (Luke 11: 9 – 13) 

One reason the brethren have so little knowledge of the baptism of the  Holy Spirit is because it is rarely preached in churches across America.  A second   reason is because most people who claim Jesus as Lord very seldom read His word.  They very seldom read the Bible.  I know this is true because that is the way I practiced religion for most of my young adult life, and I know I am not the only one.  I have a good Christian friend who I had not seen for years.  We came in contact with each other at a luncheon and one of the first things out of her mouth was that she was trying to find a good Bible teacher.  I couldn’t believe it.  She had been a Christian for as long as I could remember, how could she say she was still looking for a Bible teacher.  Sadly this is the condition of the church in America today, always looking for a teacher instead of seeking the Teacher.  After rebuking the religious leaders in His day, Jesus said, “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.  But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.  Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is Christ.  But the greatest among shall you be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”  (Matt 23: 6 – 12)  Here’s where to find the real teacher.  “These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.  As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”  (1 John 2:  26 & 27)  And then there is this,  “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”  (John 14: 16 & 17)

Doesn’t it seem strange for the Lord to say One is our Teacher, Father, and Leader?  How can it be that we need no one to teach us relying instead on the anointing of the Holy Spirit?  These things seem strange to us, and appear to be unreasonable.  We feel this way because we haven’t a notion about the reality of God.  It also reveals how far we have fallen away from the truth.  For the most part we have ignored the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity.  In this regard the Lord has a word for us.  “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come,  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;  Avoid such men as these.  (2 Timothy 3: 1 -5)  By denying the Holy Spirit, the very power of God, we walk away from all the joy and love the Father has for us.  In other words we give up the kingdom of God.  “Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 14: 16 & 17)  Until we understand the fellowship of the Holy Spirit we’ll never experience real joy.  “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”  (John 15: 11) 

If we want to know how to walk in the Spirit, when administering His gifts, look to Jesus as our example. Every healing, casting out demons, raising the dead, and performing of miracles was done to glorify the Father.  In many cases Jesus would tell recipients of His power not to tell others what he had done for them.  There was no fanfare or exulting of self when He performed His many works.  He knew who He was, and that He had authority to do His Father’s will on earth.  My dear brethren, our heavenly Father wants to give us a portion of His authority through the Holy Spirit.  All we have to do is ask.                

God Bless!!!

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The Holy Spirit

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

As Christians we often finish a prayer with, “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” and we say it without much thought.  If we did give it some thought we’d realize that our knowledge of the Father and Son far out weighs what we know about the Holy Spirit.  In fact in most denominations in America the Holy Spirit is rarely mentioned except at the end of a prayer.  When the Father led me to Jesus I had no idea what had happened; however, for the first time in my life I felt a relationship with Him, the same kind of relationship I had had with my earthly father who just happened to be a super good dad.  A few weeks later I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit which took place in my home.  I was so excited about the baptism I made an appointment with the minister of our church to tell him the good news.  At my surprise the minister was not at all happy over my experience stating that charismatics caused trouble, and were too divisive in the church.  I had never heard the word charismatic used in religious circles so I checked it out.  The dictionary indicated it was “a person who supposedly has some Divinely inspired power, as the ability to prophecy, and the heal.”  I also did an exhaustive search in a Bible concordance and found that the word, “charismatic,” is not mentioned in the Bible.  I don’t know how the word came into being; however, I do know it is sure easier to be labeled a charismatic than a, “Holy Roller.”  By the way, charismatics call other denominations, “The Frozen Chosen.”  It’s religion folks let the name calling begin, what can I say.

The experience of being baptized by the Holy Spirit happened to me before it happened to my dear wife, Nicki.  I thought it best to let Nicki share her thoughts that led up to her baptism in the Holy Spirit.  “Roger and I met in college, Ball State University, got married and starting teaching.  I stopped teaching when we had children.  After being married seven years he applied for and got a job with the FBI.  Roger served in two different states before he was transferred to the Orlando, Florida office.

Growing up I went to Sunday school and in high school I sang in the church choir and went to youth group, and in college I also sang in a church choir.  In high school my girlfriends and I had slumber parties and then would go to someone’s church on Sunday morning.  I sang at weddings and in choir in college.  While living in another state, prior to moving to Florida, I sang in a church choir and directed children’s choirs.  When we moved to Florida our family attended church together.

Soon after we moved to Florida I noticed Roger sitting in the living room reading his Bible after work.  Of course I read Bible verses in church and had read some myself.  Since he did this every day I finally asked why.  He smiled and said he had been saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit.  He talked about it for a while and I just listened.  Finally I went in the other room and thought about what he’d said.  Then I did whatever I’d been doing, probably cooking or talking to our kids, or watching TV.  Each day he continued to read his Bible and each day I became more frustrated.  I even thought about leaving.

Then one day he invited me to go to a Bible study group with him and I did.  The people there were very nice and they shared Scripture.  I enjoyed it and then they sang songs.  I had heard a wonderful soloist from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and members of the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra, but this music was the most beautiful I’d ever heard.  It touched my heart.  Soon after I went to a meeting with Roger again, and God touched my heart to receive Jesus and the Holy Spirit.”  We thought Nicki’s testimony would be helpful to those who are struggling with their salvation.  I know that if Nicki had received Christ before me my testimony would have been pretty much the same. 

In churches across America there is knowledge of the Father and Son; however, as I mention previously very little is ever spoken about the Holy Spirit except to say His  name at the end of the prayer.  Yet in the trinity we curse God and the Son and can be forgiven.  Not so with the Holy Spirit.  If we sin against the Holy Spirit we commit an eternal sin and forgiveness is not available.  Jesus was talking with the Pharisees after He healed a man who was demon-possessed and was blind and mute.  The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the ruler of the demons.  “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.  Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”  (Matt 12: 31 &  32)  Man can say what he wants about the Father and the Son, but we better not mess with the Spirit of the the living God.  With this in mind it would be good to see Who the Holy Spirit is, and what His function is in the Holy Trinity.

To put it simply, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the very power of God, and by His grace the Father gives a portion of His Spirit to believers so they might be His ambassadors on earth.  The Scriptures are full of the workings of the Holy Spirit.  The following passages will give us an idea of His works and how they relate to us as believers.  “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.  (John 15: 26 & 27)   That last line, “you have been with Me from the beginning,”  does that include us?  Were we with Him from the beginning?  We sure were, remember when we were chosen, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him…  (Eph 1: 4)  I could stop right there and that would enough.  But there is more, much, much more.  “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”  (John 16: 7)  “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.”  (John 16: 12 – 15)  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  (John 14: 26)  “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  (Acts 1: 8)  “for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  (Thess 1: 5)  And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  (Luke 24:49)  “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.  (Eph 3: 16)  “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you  see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”  (John 1: 33)   

We know that our Father gives us the gift of ever lasting life when He takes us to His Son.  There are also gifts the Father bestows on us through His precious Holy Spirit.  As we see from the Scriptures above, the Father gives these gifts so we might serve Him in power upon the earth.  “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”  (1 Cor 12: 4 – 11)   As we can see the gifts mentioned here are actions of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit working through men who are appointed by God in the church, and are, “…first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.”  (1 Cor 12: 28)  It is important to remember God’s appointments are made for the common good of the body.  They are not given to glorify those who are appointed. 

The gift that causes the most reluctance in the denominations today is the gift of tongues, and yet Jesus commanded,  “These signs will accompany those who have believed:  in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues.”  (Mark 16: 17)  Then Paul says, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all.”  (1 Cor 14: 18)  The Son of God says tongues is a sign for the believer.  Paul, the author of much of the New Testament says he speaks in tongues more than the rest. In fact do we doubt that all the writers of the Bible were Spirit filled?  Yet Christians in America say that’s not for us.  The reason Christians feel this way is because they do not understand the Spirit’s purpose for tongues.  “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”  (Romans 8: 26 & 27)  Tongues is a prayer language by which our Father gives us a perfect prayer every time we pray.  “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”  (Eph 6: 18)  Yes, tongues is used by the Spirit as a prayer language for the believer.  Problems occur when people use the gift of tongues in groups of people.  Paul speaks to these things, “Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.  What is the outcome then?  I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also, I will sing with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.  Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the , ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying?  For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified.  I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.  Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.  In the Law it is written, ‘By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Men,’ says the Lord.  So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.  Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter will they not say that you are mad.”  (1 Cor 14: 13 – 23)  In Corinthians 14 Paul gives instruction to the church regarding Spiritual gifts, and how they are to be used when Christians meet together.  He finishes his instruction by saying, “Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy and do not forbid to speak in tongues.  But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.  (1 Cor 14: 39 & 40) 

To review, tongues is primarily a prayer language for the believer in which the Holy Spirit intercedes for us making our prayer a prayer that is according to the Father’s will.  When used in group setting, tongues is not be spoken unless an interpretation is given afterwards.  In a nut shell all things are to be done in an orderly manner which will in turn edify the body of Christ.  Speaking of edifying, I conclude with this message from our Father who wants us to know Him, and how deeply He wants us to know all things He has for us.  “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in these taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.  But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; because they are spiritually appraised.  But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.  For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM?  But we have the mind of Christ.  (1 Cor 2:10 – 16)  Enough said!

In my next message our Lord will reveal additional workings of the Holy Spirit.  Love to all!

God Bless:

Roger D.Casterline

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Salvation

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Receiving a gift from someone it is indeed a joyous occasion.  When we receive a gift did we know it was coming?  In most cases we did not.  Who is in control of a gift before it is given, is it the giver or the receiver?  Of course it is the giver.  The receiver of the gift has no control over the gift giving process except to receive.  Now the gift of salvation,  everlasting life, is the most perfect gift anyone could possibly receive, and of course our Father has control over the gift.  We have nothing to do with it, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Rom 6:23), and “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”  (James 2: 17)  It is so important for us to understand that our Father is the gift giver, and that He makes choices regarding who is to receive His precious gift.

I always thought I had to do something to receive His gift of salvation.  We must surely repent.  We must also ask Jesus into our lives.  Theses things are true but will not happen unless our Father acts first.  “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do not grumble among yourselves.  No one can came to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.'”  (John 6: 43 & 44),  “And He was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'” (John 6: 65),  “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.”  (John 17: 6),  “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.”  (John 17: 2),  You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”  (John 15: 16).  Our Father chooses us we don’t choose Him.  If God doesn’t know us it is impossible to know Him.  We don’t go to heaven because we want to, we go to heaven because He wants us to.  From the above Scriptures we now know the truth.  Before we can receive salvation the Precious One must give us to His Son who will then raise us up on the last day.  After that happens the tears of repentance will flow, and we will indeed confess that Jesus is Lord of our life. 

Many years ago I was involved in a prison ministry at the Raiford state prison in Stark, Florida.  On one occasion we were allowed to witness to inmates in the prison library.  I noticed a man with his head down on the table, and I could tell he was deeply troubled.  At first when I talked to him he would not respond.  After a while he indicated that he was once a Christian but had fallen away from the faith when he started drinking.  One night he and his wife got into an argument and in a drunken rage he struck her which caused her death.  He stated that now he so much wanted Jesus in his life but didn’t think it was possible because his sin was too great after killing his wife.  I shared with him the Scriptures mentioned above, and told him that it was not possible for him to want Jesus in his life unless God had granted him access.  Once the Lord gave him understanding he raised his head from the table and we had fellowship and prayer together.  Knowing the truth makes a difference like it did for the inmate.  He was lost in sin trying to figure out what he might do to get back to Jesus.  When he understood the truth, that God had made a choice for him, he received God’s gift with great joy.  Other blessings I’ll mention here is when, “… God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He Loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  (Ephesians 2: 4 – 6),  “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  (Col 1: 13 & 14), and finally this,  “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  (Col 2: 13 & 14).  Now then does God’s choice for us begin after we’re saved?  No, it begins when our Father sends our born again spirit to Jesus, when we are still dead in our transgressions.  At that point we are made alive with Christ and raised up with Him in heavenly places.  Our Father knows there is no way we can please Him apart from His Son.  Accordingly purification can not begin until we are with Christ.  There is absolutely nothing we can do to deserve redemption, and if people knew this they would not be confused about the Father’s gift of eternal life.  In answer to their salvation I’ve heard people say they are not ready for that yet.  How would they react if they were told that God was not ready for them yet?

Is there any way we rob our Father of His glory concerning matters of salvation?  Yes there is, and it happens when a religious person declares they have led another person to Christ.  When people say they have led someone to Christ are they not robbing God of His glory?  After all Jesus said, “…no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  (John 6: 65)  Our Father gives His chosen ones to Christ.  How then can we dare say that we had anything to do with it.  God gets the glory not us.  We do however labor for the Lord in regards to salvation.  “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not mere men?  What then is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”    We must talk (plant) with the lost and encourage (water) them as much as possible; however, when the Precious One leads them to Christ we must give God the glory not ourselves.

Christians are being discouraged in segments of our society.  The reason given for the discouragement is because voices in high places don’t want people to be offended.  Well how offended will people be when they are doing back strokes in the lake of fire.  There is only one path to eternal life and that is through Jesus Christ.  “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4: 12)   Does that mean other religions do not lead to everlasting life?  Yes, that’s exactly what it means.  Why do you think the early church suffered beatings and death?  It wasn’t because they gathered together once a week.  They went into areas where Christ was unknown, and preached the truth declaring Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords, and king of kings, and that salvation can only be obtained through Him.  The suffering didn’t happen just to the early church.  Christians have always suffered for Christ, and are doing so around the world today.  We should fall on our knees and thank our Father for choosing us for eternal life. 

Many people are not sure of their salvation.  If you happen to be that person, there is a simple test so you’ll know for sure.  If you desire to a part of God’s glorious kingdom, if you want Jesus to be Lord of your life, the Father has already taken you to Christ, and He will raise you up on the last day.  Tears of repentance and your confession of Him will follow His acceptance of you.  Now for the, “mind blowing,” ending to this message.  When did our Father make His choice for us, at the time we actually received His gift of ever lasting life?  The answer is NO!  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  (Ephesians 1: 3 – 6).    

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

God Bless!!!

Roger