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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

Please feel free to leave a comment at this site.



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!!!



His Coming Part 3

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

My last two messages reveal a wonderful future for the believer; however, in regards to our time on earth we as Christians are most to be pitied.  Why?  Because we are waiting to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Over and over again Jesus encourages us to, “Abide in Me, and I in you.”  When Jesus says these things He means just what He says.  We are to live in Him and He in us, and He means for this to happen right now before His coming.  When we read the Scriptures presented in this message the Lord is letting us know in no uncertain terms that we are to enjoy all the fruits heaven has to offer except for the resurrection of the body.    “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”  (Philippians 3: 20 & 21)  When you read verse 20 it looks like we are waiting for something.  Not so, believers are already in heaven.  What we’re waiting for is to be transformed to be like Christ which is stated in verse 21.  How about this one.  even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all 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)  Dying has nothing to do with obtaining eternal life, it’s obtained by knowing the Father and the Son.  The way we live our lives we can only say we know of Him.  In order to know Him we must eagerly seek our Lord through His word.  It’s a one on one deal between us and the Father.  If we depend upon others to feed us we’ll grow hungry.

The Bible is of the Spirit.  It is a Spiritual book.  In this regard we need an interpreter to understand it.  The interpreter of course is the Spirit.  Unless the Spirit of Christ is in a person they will never understand It’s meaning.  How many times have you heard an unbeliever say, “I’ve read the Bible but I don’t understand it.”  “And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (Ephesians 6: 17)  Then there is this, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1: 9)  Unless the Spirit of Christ is in us we are helpless to understand the Scriptures, and the glorious life the Father would have us live while yet on earth.    But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”  (John 16: 13)

Now let us understand the administration of God’s will in regards to us living in Him, and Him living in us.  As I mentioned above, Christ encourages us to, “Abide in Me, and I in you.”  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”  (John 15: 4 & 5)  Reading the words, “Abide in Me, and I in you,” were just that to me, they were simply words.  I had no understanding of the glory He wants us to share with Him when He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you.”  Remember the Lord is Spirit and His words are Spiritual.  He’s not talking about us living in Him in our present, physical state.  He’s talking about our spirit abiding in Him and His Spirit abiding in us. This whole process of living in Him, and He in us, is initiated when we are born again.  Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, [you must be born again.]  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.'”  (John 3: 5 – 8) 

 The Lord will now share the actual process of being born again and what it truly mean to, “abide in Me, and I in you.” I know I am repeating myself; however, in order to understand the following passages we must keep in mind the Bible is of the Spirit, and references made to, “abide in Me, and I in you,” are Spiritual in nature not physical.  When a person is born again, their spirit then becomes a Spiritual being, and by His grace we are able to partake in the fullness of His love for us.  First we’ll see the administration by the Lord when He tells us to, “abide in Me.”  There are numerous references in Scripture relating to our abiding in Christ.  The passages I’ve chosen for this writing are as follows:  “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”  (John 15: 18 & 19)  “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are one”  (John 17: 9)  “But 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)  “And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.”  (Ephesians 2: 17 – 19)  “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.  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.”  (Colossians 1: 12 – 14)  “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”  (Colossians 2: 12)  “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  (Colossians 3: 1 – 4)   For sure our, “born again spirits.”are with Christ in heavenly places, and we will live in Him until His coming at which time our spirits will be clothed in glory by the One, “who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory…”  (Philippians 3: 21)   From reading the above Scriptures it’s quite evident our born again spirits are indeed with Christ who is seated at the right hand of the Father.  Can you imagine what a wondrous thing our Lord has done for those who believe?  In regards to wonders it is just the beginning.  For if our born again spirit is with Christ, what kind of spirit are we left with here on earth.  The answer is so astounding it can take ones breath away.

The Lord has revealed what it means to abide in Him.  Now He is going to reveal what it means for Him to abide in us.  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”            (1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20)  “For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but  to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.  Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.”  (2 Cor 5: 4 & 5)  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall by My people.  Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord.  ‘And do not touch what is unclean  and I will welcome you.  And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.”  (2 Cor. 6: 16 – 18)”  I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  (Gal. 2: 20)  “Because  you are sons, God has sent forth the  Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'”  (Gal. 4: 6 & 7)  Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose; ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us'”  (James 4: 5)  “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?  (2 Cor. 13: 5)  “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”   (Ephesians 1: 13 & 14)  “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.  We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”  (1 John 3: 24)  “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because he has given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4: 11 – 13)  As we read the above Scriptures one may become confused as it refers to both Jesus and the Holy Spirit being in us.  Truth is there is no discrepancy for, Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  (2 Cor 3: 17)  After understanding all the gifts the Father has given us what could we possibly give back to Him.  How do we thank a loving Father who loves us so much that He wants us with Him even before the resurrection?  How do we thank a Father who has given a portion of His Spirit to His followers?  Because of the wonderful gifts our Father has given us we must surely know that he loves us, and the only way we give back to Him, and show our love for Him, is to obey Him.  “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.  (1 John 5: 3)

Please feel free leave a comment below.  It is always great to hear from the brethren.  Love to all!

God Bless!!!




His Coming Part 2

Monday, May 26th, 2014


Dear Family and Friends:

As we know from my previous message, “His Coming,” upon His return the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive with be taken up.  This group of believers referred to as, “Saints,” will then be with Christ forever.  At this point we know the Saints will be saved which is a glorious testimony to God’s love for us.  However, there is much, much more glory awaiting  the Saints.  Scripture states that at His coming the armies of heaven will be following Christ on white horses.  Now the question becomes, who are those who make up the armies of heaven.  “…the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  From His mouth comes sharp a sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”  (Rev 19: 14 & 15)  And also,  “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”  (Rev 17: 14)   And then there is this, from the beginning of time, from the seventh generation from Adam, Enoch prophesied saying, “…Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgement upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  (Jude 1: 14 & 15)  The armies of heaven are those who are raised up to be with Christ at his coming.  It’s going to be us folks, we are the armies in heaven.  It is indeed hard to believe which is the reason He says,  “but just as it is written, things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”  (1Cor 2: 10)  We must prepare ourselves for battle.  We’re not  going to just sit around in heaven playing harps all day.  In order to prepare we must train ourselves in righteousness which can only be done through His word.  “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 Tim 3: 16 & 17)  And this,  “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”  (John 17:17)  It is so very important for us to understand that Saints are those who prepared themselves while living on earth.  It is easy to see how one would follow Christ at His coming.  Thing is, the Saints were following Christ before His coming.  As Enoch stated, “…the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,”  and the question we must consider, are we holy?  Do we actually believe our Father expects us to be holy, to be perfect as He is?  “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the the same?  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:  43 – 48)  Do I think I am perfect?  Not by a long shot but it is a goal we should all be striving to attain.  And how do we reach the goal?  If we carefully read the Scriptures  above we’ll find that in order to be perfect we must love our neighbor, including those who love us, and also those who hate us.  A true example of perfection for us to follow is when Jesus was dying on the cross.  After being beaten and crucified, “…Jesus was saying, ‘Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing…'”  (Luke 23: 34)  It appears to me that for us to achieve perfection we must totally and completely die to self.          

Before continuing I’d like to briefly summarize my previous message, “His Coming.”  When Christ returns with His holy ones all who are left on earth will be killed with the sword.  There will then be a thousand years on earth in which Satan will be locked up.  At the end of the thousand years Satan will be released to deceive the nations to attack the Saints.  As the nations surround the camp of the Saints, fire will come down from heaven and devour them.  Next will come the great white throne judgement by which everyone who has set foot on the earth from the beginning of time will be judged.  Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be saved.  Everyone else will be lost forever.

After the great white throne judgement Jesus will  indeed be on a mission for he must prepare all things for the coming of His Father to the new earth.  “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own order; Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be abolished is death.  For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.  But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.  When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.  (1 Cor 15: 22 – 28)

Are we ready for what happens next?  After the Father is all in all,  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”  (Rev 21: 1)  In this passage we see few details relating to a new earth and new heaven, but looking further, “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for the hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat.  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”  (2Peter 3: 10-13)   “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’  And he said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’  Then He said to me, ‘It is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.   I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.'”  (Rev 21: 1-6)  Just so we are sure of what is happening here, the new Jerusalem, where we will live for eternity, will not be located in the new heaven but rather on the new earth.  At the end of all things we will not be living with God in heaven but rather our Father will be living with us on the new earth.  Regarding our final dwelling place,  “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God,  Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.”  (Rev 21: 10 & 11)   If we read further we find, “The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.  (Rev 21:16)

The coming of Christ will be the beginning of a whole host of events my feeble mind simply can not comprehend.  I always thought if we were good little boys and girls we would one day live in the heavens with the Father forever, end of story.  Truth is when the Father says, “It is done,” we’ll be living with our Father in the new Jerusalem located on the new earth.    And why did I not know of these things?  Because, “…the time will come when they 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.” (2Timothy 4: 3 & 4)    The words of men have spun a fairy tale ending for mankind, and I for one believed every bit of it.  I never had any reason to believe otherwise because I was so far away from the Lord it never entered my mind to seek His truth.  I’ll end this message with a question for all of us to ponder?  Is there anything we are doing here on earth that compares to the reality of His coming?  













His Coming

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Dear Family and Friends:

We all wonder what heaven will be like, and what will happen when Christ returns.  Without really knowing, I believed Christ would return, and we would be with our family and friends forever after Jesus kicked out all the bad guys.  I thought people would surely repent when they witnessed His presence, and everything would be hunky dory from that time forward.  For the past forty years I have read the Scriptures in an attempt to learn and understand God’s truth.  I must confess that even though I’ve read the Scriptures from front to back numerous times, I’ve only scratched the surface of the truth that lies therein.  At times I think I’ve read the Scriptures so many times there isn’t much left for me to learn.  Foolish, foolish, man that I am to ever consider such a notion.  One thing I do know is that I know very little when it comes to the understanding of God’s knowledge which is contained in the Scriptures.  Recently I read passages from His word that totally changed my understanding of His return.  It is the most astounding, glorious, and yes alarming piece of Scripture I’ve ever understood thus far.

I’d like to start by providing a summary of the events that will take place when Jesus returns.  First order of business will be for the Lord to collect, from the four corners of the earth, those who have died in Christ, and those in Christ who are alive at His coming.  Then the beast and false prophet will be seized, and throw them alive into the lake of fire.  All the rest of the people left on earth will be killed with the sword.  Then Satan will be bound for a thousand years and thrown into the abyss.  After a thousand years Satan will be released so he might deceive the nations into destroying the saints and the beloved city.  However, the Lord will devour the invaders with fire from heaven, and the devil who deceived them will be thrown into the lake of fire with the beast and false prophet.  After that there will be the great white throne judgement followed by a new heaven and new earth, and God will live forever among His people.  Alright that’s all.  Have a good day.  No, no, a thousand times no, that’s not all!  My words are but nonsense unless tested in the fire of His word.  So let’s see what Jesus has to say about the matter.

The following words of Jesus I’ve read again and again, and never understood its true meaning in regards to His return.  His words gives us understanding into the events that will take place at His coming.  And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:  they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  It was the same as happened in the days of Lot:  they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.  It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.”  (Luke 17:26 – 30)  Yes, as alarming as it may seem, at His coming all those on earth will be destroyed just like in the days of Noah, just like the days of Sodom.  So far the Lord’s plan seems hopeless for everyone, even those who believe; however, the Lord has made a way for those that are His at His coming.  ” Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,  for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Then he said to me, ‘Write, Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’  And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.'”  (Rev. 19: 7 – 9)  Here is another piece of Scripture relating to this glorious event as our joy will indeed be made full.  “…we do not want you to be uniformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.  (1Thess 4: 13 – 18)      

Moving on, “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.  He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.    From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.  And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords’.  Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, ‘come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both small and great.’  And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he 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: 11 -21)  As this  event is taking place, “…the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.'”  (Rev. 6: 15 – 17) 

After man is dealt with, …”I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.  Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them.  And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.  This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.  (Rev 20: 1 – 6Let’s stop here to  to try and determine who these people might be who are sitting on thrones, making judgements, and reigning with Christ for a thousand years?  For understanding,Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?  Do you not know that we will judge angels?  How much more matters of this life.?”  (1Cor 6: 1 – 3)  And how about this from the beginning of time.  “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation  from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.'”  We simply have no clue regarding our Father’s love for those who obey Him.

Continuing on, “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.”  (Rev 20: 7 – 8)  Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the presses!  How can it be that everyone dies by the sword at the coming of Christ, then after a thousand years we see Satan released to lead a multitude of people into war.  Where did these people come from?  For the answer we must remember what Jesus said would happen at His coming.  Did he not say that it would be just like in the days of Noah and Sodom?  In the days of Noah and Sodom there was mass destruction; however, in each case there was also left a remnant.  In the case of Noah, his family was saved, and in the case of Sodom, Lot and his family were saved.  And so it will be when Christ returns.  Just like in the days of Noah and Sodom a remnant will be left to repopulate the earth.  This multitude then will be deceived by Satan after a thousand years and be led into war.  “And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false pr0phet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  (Rev 20: 9 – 10)

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was 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)  We know about the book of life, but what are the books that are going to be used to judge the dead according to their deeds?   How about, Matthew, Mark Luke and John, and the rest of the books in the Bible.  “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.  If anyone hears my  sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.  He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”  (John 12: 46 – 48)  Back to the great white throne judgement, “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life. he was thrown into the lake of fire.”  (Rev 20: 13 – 15) 

The rest of the book of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, gives us glorious insight into the new heaven and new earth.  One cannot describe the eternal glory the saints will enjoy on that day.  “but just as it is written, things which the eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and which God has prepared for those who love him.”  (1Cor 1 : 9)   In our wildest dreams we cannot understand our Father’s love for us, and what He has prepared for our future.  Keep in mind He has made preparation for, “those who love Him.”  And how does He know that we love Him? “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.”  (1John 5: 2 & 3)  The coming of our Lord Jesus will touch every human being that has ever lived on the plant, everyone!  Now that we understand His coming, how should we live our lives?  I simply do not have the words to express the urgency I feel.  What can one say that would help people understand?  I sat at my desk for the longest time trying to find the words to finish this message.  Truth is my words are of no consequence, only His words can cause growth.  Therefore I encourage us all to read the Scriptures and learn from Him.  It is the only way we can truly know His love.  “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  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 complete.”  (John 15: 9 – 11)  Knowledge is to know the Father, wisdom is to obey Him.  Obedience ignites knowledge and wisdom within the believer resulting in the kingdom of God.  “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”  (Romans 14: 17)  Love to  all.

God Bless!!!

Roger D. Casterline

The Teacher

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Today’s education is filled with financial waste and busy work.  I’ll begin with teacher testing.  It has always been a mystery to me why people with a degree in education, many times a masters degree, are required to pass a test on basic skills before being awarded a license to teach in the public school system.   My question is, what does passing a test on basic skills have to do with defining ones ability to be in the classroom?  If people fail the test, they always end up passing after additional attempts so what’s the use of testing in the first place?  Four years of college in the field of education, which includes student teaching, more than qualifies an individual to be in the classroom.  If a person gets a degree to teach, the institution they graduate from should be the deciding factor as to ones ability to be in the classroom.  The state doesn’t need to come up with some meaningless test which serves only to eat up finances from the educational budget.

Now on to standardized testing for students, the passing of which must occur before the student is awarded a diploma.  If a student fails to pass the test they are given the test again and again until they pass it.  If they cannot pass the test they are given something less than a diploma after completing their other requirements to graduate.  To encourage passing of the test schools are graded.  Schools with an “A” rating are given huge sums of money which can be spent at the district’s discretion.  Schools usually divvy up the money among the teachers which is the only positive element in the whole program.  Actually the grading system has nothing to do with improving student education but rather ends up identifying demographics in the respective school districts.  “A” schools are loaded with motivated students who for the most part come from good homes with parents who have college degrees.  “D” and “F” have few advantages, and for the most part struggle from day to day just to make ends meet.  In its infinite wisdom the state awards those that have and ignore those who have not.  In this matter the unbelieving ignorance of the state completely fails to understand that the home situation is the most dominant force in a student’s ability to succeed in the classroom.  Education has the clueless idea that they can change students by merely being in the classroom.  Teachers most definitely influence success in students; however, if they want to affect total change they need take them home and raise them.

In my younger days I coached freshman basketball at a local high school.  Joe tried out for the team and was a wonderful player.   However after one week of practice Joe informed me he couldn’t continue because he didn’t have a ride to practice.  After looking into the matter I found that Joe lived with his aunt in a small home with ten other siblings.  Joe and his brothers and sisters shared bedrooms sleeping on the floor.  My wife and I saw the need and asked Joe’s aunt if she might allow him to live with us during basketball season so he might participate in the program.  The aunt agreed and Joe ended up staying with us the entire semester.  When Joe came to us he had a 1.8 grade point average (GPA) and had numerous issues with truancy and discipline.  At the end of the semester Joe had a 3.3 GPA with no truancy or discipline issues.

In my guidance department there were six counselors.  Joan had been in the department for quite a while, and towards the end of her career decided to take a counseling job at Muscle Shoals, Alabama to be closer to her family.  We kept in touch and on one occasion I bragged to Joan about the four National Merit Scholarship winners we had at the school.  Four winners were the most of any school in the county.   Joan agreed that was pretty good then stated that her high school had thirty five National Merit Scholarship winners.   She then explained that Muscle Shoals was the home of the NASA space center and that many of the students in her district came from homes whose parents were scientists  and engineers at the space center.  Need I say more.  Unless standard testing includes the home in it’s measurement it will never produce the desired result.  Of course that will never happen so results will continue to be incomplete and worthless for any reliable measurement.  Another component is that many students become discouraged with standardized testing, and end up dropping out of school.  One could even draw the conclusion that students who drop out truly understand the insanity of standardized testing.

True education takes place in the classroom and the only tool that can improve success is, “The Teacher.”    How many teaching days are lost because of standardized testing?  How many teacher hours are wasted because teachers are required to execute piles of useless paper work.  The state now even requires teachers to justify themselves with self critiques.  How worthless can an idea be?  Does the state actually believe a teacher is going to destroy their career by writing something about themselves that would indicate they’re a lousy teacher?  Get real!!!!  Teachers are the only hope for education.  The state board of education, superintendents, principals, and guidance counselors are not in the classroom; and therefore, they have no idea.   Their only purpose for existence should be to support the classroom teacher.  As it is now the teachers are viewed as children who need constant supervision by the bosses.  Take all the money from standardized testing, and useless paper work, and put it back into the classroom were the action is.  Teachers are the real force in education, and the so called educators need to get out of the way and let the teachers do their jobs.  Think of the money that could be saved if politicians and administrators came to the understanding that, “compared to the classroom teacher they know nothing about education.”  So called educator’s full attention to making themselves look good is destroying the classroom by bringing down teacher morale.  Any distraction that takes teachers away from teaching students should be done away with.  In a nutshell we have politicians and college professors, many of whom have never taught a day in the public school system (k -12), writing all the rules and regulations which only serve to hinder classroom teachers from doing their job.  In order to be called stupid one must continue to pour money into programs that yield zero results.  Any effort to improve education need only one simple guideline.  What can be done to better support,  “The Teacher?”

God Bless!!!

Roger D. Casterline