Friday, December 16, 2011

JOHN: Most important writer of all time?

(This won't take long. I hope you will read it to the end.)
I have just finished writing point-by-point, step-by-step lessons through the entire Bible (almost 5000 lessons).

I am compelled to tell you how impressed I have been with the writings of John. And I want to share a very important conclusion at the end.

I believe that the Apostle John may be the most powerful, influential and pivotal writer of all time.

Yes. I believe that.

Anyone who reads the entire New Testament cannot deny the overwhelming influence of the Apostle Paul and his so-called "Pauline Epistles." After all, Paul did write the very largest portion of the entire New Testament, and I do not discount his writings by one iota.

But John wrote the Gospel according to John, the First, Second and Third Epistles of John, AND the Book of the Revelation. Those are five very amazing books. But they are not just five books.

John's Gospel is profoundly different in style and content from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, or Luke, and contains some of the most doctrinally-intense writings anywhere in the Bible. John narrated the life of Jesus Christ in a way that was quite unique from that of Matthew, Mark and Luke. His insights are crucial to every man's understanding of Christ.

John's three small epistles contain what is essentially the definitive treatise on the nature and identity of the spirit of antichrist. As such, John deals head-on with things that are almost never mentioned anywhere else in the Bible.

And there is no book anywhere else in the world that can compare to John's Book of Revelation. Although the Book of Genesis is one of the largest and most informative books of the Bible, the Book of Revelation contains almost three times as much proprietary information as just about any book in sacred canon.

NO OTHER BOOK more clearly reveals the divine destiny of mankind. That is very significant.

It is important to remember that John was one of the three closest confidants of Jesus Christ. Peter, James and John were the most intimate of all Jesus' apostles or disciples. It was John who leaned on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper, and John who apparently followed the LORD all the way from Gethsemane to Golgotha.

John, I believe, knew and understood who Jesus Christ was better than any man who ever lived. I believe that John was more deeply affected in his heart and mind by the true identity and mission of Jesus Christ than any person on record. He knew and believed profoundly that Jesus was God, our invisible Creator wearing a human body.

John, a fisherman by trade, was originally a disciple of John the Baptist, so he had an amazing primary initiation into the significance of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Then John began to follow Christ. For three years, John had the very closest access to Jesus. He walked beside Him daily, heard virtually everything Jesus ever said, and saw virtually everything He did during His adult ministry. They called him, "John, the Beloved." No man had more intimate fellowship with Christ than John.

John is the one who explained to us, perhaps better than anyone else, that Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, and that Jesus is actually God. "The world was made by Him," John insisted. Do not underestimate that statement!

That was a radical declaration. Almost nobody in Jesus' day realized Who He was better than John.

John taught us that anybody who denies that God is incarnated in Jesus is an "antichrist." John understood the incarnation better than anybody before him.
John saw Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration conversing with Moses and Elijah. John witnessed first-hand Jesus riding through Jerusalem, as people cheered Him as the King of Israel. John watched in horror as Jesus was dragged from Gethsemane, prosecuted and sentenced to death. John watched Jesus die on Golgotha. John saw Jesus after He rose from the dead and watched the clouds carry Him into Heaven. John was in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, where he received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and spoke in unknown tongues.

John preached for many years and was heavily persecuted for his preaching. He was boiled in oil but did not die. He was exiled to the Isle of Patmos and left there to die.

On Patmos, John had visions of Christ and His angels, and revelations of things to come - of the end of the age and of the Eternal Things of God. John saw Christ on the Throne of God. John saw visions of Jesus coming with His Heavenly Army of Saints to wage the great and final Battle of Armageddon.

Finally, John saw the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of a New Heaven, descending to a New Earth after the old heaven and earth had passed away.

Without John, we would scarcely know Christ. With John's writings alone, we could know more about Jesus Christ than from any other solitary writer in history.

But John was also an ICONIC PROPHET. Almost nobody in the Bible (excepting perhaps Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah), had such a significant understanding about God's plan for the future. John saw more of the future plan of God than any man who ever lived.

John recorded more proprietary prophecies for the Last Days, including:

  • The Seven Churches
  • The Seven Spirits of God
  • The Throne of God
  • The Four Heavenly Beasts
  • The 24 Elders
  • The City of Heaven
  • The Seven Golden Candlesticks
  • The White Stones
  • The Saints in White Raiment
  • The Emerald Rainbow
  • The Angelic Choir
  • The Sea of Glass
  • The Seven Seals
  • The Four Horsemen
  • The Four Winds
  • The Heavenly Temple
  • The Great Tribulation
  • The Seven Trumpets
  • The Little Book
  • The Seven Thunders
  • The Two Witnesses
  • The Woman With Twelve Stars
  • The Manchild
  • The Great Red Dragon
  • The Seven-Headed Beast from out of the Sea
  • The False Prophet
  • The Mark of the Beast
  • The Image to the Beast
  • The 144,000 Virgins Sealed by God
  • Mystery Babylon
  • The Harvest of the Earth
  • The Harvest of Grapes of Wrath in the Winepress of God
  • The Lake which burns with Fire and Brimstone
  • The Scarlet-Colored Beast
  • The Great Whore
  • The Harlot Daughters
  • The Seven Vials of the Wrath of God (Seven Last Plagues)
  • The Tabernacle of the Testimony
  • The Battle of Armageddon
  • The Fall of Babylon
  • The Destruction of the Great Whore, The Mother of Harlots
  • The First Resurrection and Rapture of the Church
  • The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
  • The Army of Heaven
  • The Vesture Dipped In Blood
  • The Sword of His Mouth
  • The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • The Millennial Kingdom of Christ
  • The Beast and the False Prophet Cast Into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone
  • The Supper of the Great God
  • Satan's Doom
  • The Second Resurrection
  • The White Throne Judgment
  • The Book of Life
  • The Second Death
  • Sinners Cast Into Hell
  • The New Heaven
  • The New Earth
  • The Holy City, New Jerusalem
  • The Bride, The Lamb's Wife
  • And many other landmark, watershed topics.
With all these insights in mind, I will make my conclusion.

This man, John, DAILY walked side-by-side with Jesus Christ for more than three years, heard everything He preached, and saw everything He did. John saw Jesus ascend into Heaven.

I am extremely impressed with the LEVEL OF CONVICTION that John had about Jesus Christ.

If Jesus had been an impostor (as many say He is), John would have known it. But John lived to be a very old man on the Isle of Patmos. He had every opportunity to renounce or abandon his faith in Christ.

But he NEVER did!

JOHN PROFOUNDLY BELIEVED that the man he had been a close friend to when he was a young man was TRULY GOD INCARNATE.

John believed that Jesus would come back to earth, and at Armageddon, destroy all the enemies of Israel and set up a glorious 1000-year Kingdom on earth. John also believed that all the demonic antichrist spirits on earth would be brought to judgment, and that every sinner would be cast into Hell.

John believed that the present heavens and earth will someday pass away, and that Jesus Christ will create a New Heaven and New Earth. John believed that there will be a New Jerusalem where all the saints of all the ages will live with Christ forever.

I am impressed by the integrity and believability of John's testimony. There are no words to adequately depict John's heart-felt belief that Jesus was really GOD on earth.

If John believed that Jesus
is God, and that He is coming back, then I do too. I do not believe that there is a MORE CREDIBLE WITNESS OF JESUS CHRIST ANYWHERE than John.

I cannot describe how excited I am about Jesus' soon return.

John's writings deeply inspire me. I urge you to read them all.

Here are my notes on John's BOOKS:

I hope you will study them. They will greatly inspire you!

Thanks for reading!
God bless you.
Ken Raggio

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Monday, November 28, 2011

I Have A Weapon, And I Use It

I do not need Rick Warren, Joel Osteen or Andy Stanley to tell me about God. I have a BIBLE.

I do not have to defend myself with my denomination's doctrinal statement. I have a BIBLE.

I don't need a Seminary-educated agnostic with a PhD to tell me how to have Church. I have a BIBLE.

I have read and studied my Bible dozens of times from cover to cover. I know what is in it, and I know what it means. I am not afraid or reluctant to live according to what I know is in this book. 

I long-ago stopped expecting people to understand my actions, especially since most people do not study the Bible, do not genuinely know what it says or means, and thereby have no accurate point-of-reference by which to judge.

As I see it, the biggest problem in so-called Christianity today is that almost nobody really knows the Bible or uses it anymore.

Rarely does a preacher in this generation have a mature comprehension of the contents of the Bible
, or live a holy, Holy Ghost-filled, fire-baptized lifestyle that is in agreement and compliance with its teachings.

One of the reasons we now have so many mega-churches is because a handful of "great communicators" have tapped into the near-universal mindset in this generation that the Bible and traditional Christianity are full of draconian rules and regulations that they simply do not want to hear or have any part with.

The great "communicators" have offered this generation an alternative to "regimented" Christianity. "COME AS YOU ARE!" religion - which, as I have observed, ultimately means "DO AS YOU PLEASE" religion.

They don't want the King James Bible. It is too inflexible and oppressive. The new versions of the Bible give them ammunition to contradict their forefathers.

They don't want pulpits or pews. They have reinvented the wheel. It is a sin to use furniture that reminds them of the old-time religion. They simply will not go to a church that has pews. That makes them feel that they are consenting to something that is from the past, and that would be too un-hip.

They behave as if the former generations were stupid and did not know or understand God as clearly as they do. The arrogance of this generation is suffocating. Their despite for their forefathers is wicked. They have almost completely shut out the voices of their elders. Their Churches have almost no elders, if any.

They don't want to dress up for Church. Nobody is going to tell them how to dress. Dignity is so 80s. Dress down. Grunge. They don't want to sing any song that smacks of old-fashioned, life-changing consecration. They don't want to go to Church twice on Sunday. They don't want a preacher who tells them they can't do this or they can't do that.

They don't want CHURCH that FEELS like CHURCH. They want Church that either feels like a ROLLING STONES CONCERT or a POSITIVE THINKING SEMINAR. Almost nobody carries a Bible anymore.

They want rock-and-roll religion. They want to dress like they are going to the beach. They want McDonald's PlayPlace in the Church foyer. They want Starbucks before class, not prayer meetings. They want corporate trainers to help them reach their ambitious wealth goals. They want family trainers to help them with their tax-planning and soccer leagues.

People want feel-good religion. Positivity. Anything negative, and they are OUT THE DOOR.

Give us BANDS! Give us SPORTS! Give us world-class ENTERTAINMENT! Give us SOCIAL NETWORKING! Or we won't go to your Church. And don't dare "Preach" at us. "Preaching" is anathema. No clear-cut black-or-white stuff. Just smoke machines and spinning lights. They want a Church that makes them feel like they are watching the Disney Channel or ESPN.

An entire generation of new preachers and pastors preaches a Zero-Calorie "Gospel Lite."

At best, they pick up the hottest new sermon from the hottest new books at the Christian bookstore, or from a famous football coach or some internationally acclaimed corporate trainer. They really are not interested in the specific details of what God wants.
They consider rules a nuisance.

They want to find the lowest common denominator with the world.

They are trying to build a successful Christian empire as fast and as profitably as they possibly can. They are trying to pull in the largest crowds possible, and it makes no difference what they have to do to get them. If they can get a thousand people to come out to their "worship" concerts, that is good enough. They don't care what kind of lives the people live or if they are genuinely born-again by a scriptural process. Just get the crowds in, collect the cash, and build the empire. 


This does not even remotely resemble the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost where everyone in the building had fasted and prayed for ten days, and had made agonizing choices to separate themselves from the local citizens who had just crucified Jesus, and in many cases, to utterly forsake family and friends in order to become a Disciple of Jesus.

This "new" Christianity does not resemble Biblical Christianity. It knows little or nothing of genuine sacrifice, of self-abasement, of suffering for the cause of Christ. No more book burnings. No more renouncing and forsaking the world. No more tears of remorse for wrong living. No more confessing of sins. The altar of repentance and personal sacrifice has been moved out to make room for "the dancing generation."

You can and should believe this:

The WORD OF GOD is a sharp, two-edged sword against such carnal, worldly thinking.

The Word of God is GOD'S weapon against worldliness, carnality, sin and Satan. The Word of God assaults and destroys everything that is of the world, the flesh and the Devil.

Paul said, "The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," Hebrews 4:12.

Paul described the Christian's armor. All but one piece of the Christian armor was DEFENSIVE. (Helmet, shield, shoes, etc.)

But the Word of God is a piercing sword. It is an immortal weapon.

A soldier without a WEAPON is not a soldier. A soldier who will not FIGHT is not a soldier. A soldier who patronizes the enemy is not a soldier. A soldier who will not DRIVE BACK HIS ADVERSARY is not a true soldier.

The ONLY WEAPON that a Christian has is "the SWORD of the Spirit, which is the word of God," Ephesians 6:17.

If the modern "Church" has one, it does not wield it. It will not lift the Sword against its adversaries. It quotes humanistic sources when it should be quoting the TRUTH of God's infallible holy writ. It refuses to attack sin and Satan. It compromises when it should confront and contend.

In the face of diabolical forces, the modern Church retreats. In the face of lies, it cowers. In the face of worldliness, it relents. In the face of carnality, it accommodates.

But when unbelievers hurl their arguments, I take up and wield the Sword of the Lord. When the world attacks, I quote the Bible. When carnally-minded people verbally assault, I answer with the Bible. When Satan comes accusing, we should quote the Bible.

The Bible is my God-given WEAPON. It is the SWORD of the LORD.

It is the divine WEAPON that enables me to withstand every foe. It is my ultimate protection. It is the only weapon that God gave me.God gave me HIS weapon to resist evil.

And I use it.

I am determined to drive back and drive out every lie with that Sword. I will aggressively refute every false doctrine with that Sword. I will defy every heresy and heretic with that Sword. I will assault every adversary of Truth, Righteousness and Holiness with my Sword.

It is time for the Church to lift the Sword.

Put a PREACHER in the Pulpit, and let him preach the WORD!

Drive out Lucifer, Apollyon, Jezebel, and every demon prince with its minions. The RAW, UNADULTERATED WORD OF GOD is the most "relative" thing that can be offered to this generation.One thing I know. If the Word of God does not protect and preserve me, nothing else will. It is my God-given protection. It is my God-given offense.

Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword," Matthew 10:34.

I have a weapon, and I use it. 

Ken Raggio

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do The Right Thing

There is no more prominent theme in the entire Bible than that of the perpetual WAR between SIN and RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Into the very Paradise of God, Satan walked with his lies. It is impossible to comprehend the devastation that was thrust upon the entire universe as Eve sank her teeth into that forbidden fruit.
Satan achieved the most diabolical victory ever in that one supremely simple feat of tempting Eve to do the wrong thing.
I have often tried to convey to others the dramatic effect of EXPONENTIAL POTENTIAL - that is, the long-term, even eternal effect of ONE SIMPLE ACT.

We rarely contemplate the eternal consequences of each and every choice we make.
EVERY ACT and EVERY CHOICE, no matter how small, has a long-term, even eternal effect on your life AND the life of others.
One GOOD act, one GOOD choice has immeasurable potential for good.
One BAD act, one BAD choice has unimaginable potential for evil.

That is why we must carefully and thoughtfully make certain that EVERY STEP WE TAKE is the very best we can possibly take.

Let me illustrate.

One kernel of corn, when planted, will produce a corn stalk. That corn stalk will produce in one season several ears of corn. One ear of corn averages 800 kernels in 16 rows.

But that is not the end of the matter. In fact, it is scarcely the beginning. If every kernel of corn on every ear of corn from just ONE STALK were re-planted, it would yield an entire crop of corn.

Each pound of corn contains 1,300 kernels.
One bushel of corn contains about 56 pounds of kernels.
One acre of land produces an average of 182 bushels of corn.
One acre of land produces over THIRTEEN MILLION kernels of corn.
Look at it from a larger perspective.
One single farmer can produce enough food for 129 people. And not just for people. Corn is a primary food in the production of beef, pork, catfish and chicken. Corn is in taco shells, corn chips, corn syrup (in thousands of products), candies, and more. Corn is also converted to ethanol which has become a major source of fuel.

In fact, corn is now found in more than 4,000 NON-FOOD products around the world, including such unlikely things as wallpaper glue, pillows and comforters, industrial filters, gypsum wallboard and even corn-based plastics.

Here is an amazing fact that few people know about corn.

The first known corn crops were found in Mexico, many centuries ago. Originally, however, they were very small plants, and the ears of corn were very small by comparison to today's corn.

Why is that significant to this topic?

Because EVERYTHING in our lives starts small. It is through CAREFUL CULTIVATION and MANAGEMENT of each kernel that the entire world is fed.

Now, let me get to the SPIRITUAL POINT:

Every single step you take - every choice you make - has exponential potential.

One choice to pull up stakes and move to another city will change not only your life, but also the lives of everyone who is near and dear to you - FOREVER!

EVERY CHOICE you make has EXPONENTIAL potential - either for good, or for bad.

One night of drinking in a bar can result in a head-on automobile crash that can send you into eternity without God.

One choice. One seed. One kernel.


In the Spiritual War between SIN and RIGHTEOUSNESS, it is supremely important that we ALWAYS stand for right.

The Apostle Paul told the Romans:

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore CAST OFF THE WORKS OF DARKNESS, and let us put on the armour of light.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.


Romans 13:12-14

Make NO PROVISION for the flesh to do the wrong thing.

CAST OFF all works of darkness.

Every work of the flesh has exponential potential.
Every work of darkness has exponential potential.

ONE SIN has all the potential of one kernel of corn.
ONE SIN can produce a bushel, an acre, even a world full of sin.

ONE FALSE DOCTRINE can produce a world full of error.

Some people do not understand the evil potential of allowing one error, one false doctrine into their belief system. Only by carefully studying the Word of God and making certain of what it teaches can you be assured that the end result of your life will be as it should.

ONE SINFUL ACT can produce a world full of tragedy.
We simply cannot be too careful.

Just like ONE KERNEL OF CORN can lead to a world full of corn, ONE SIN, ONE ERROR can lead to a world full of tragedy.

But by the very same Law of Exponential Potential, ONE ACT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, OBEDIENCE, or TRUTHFULNESS can lead to a world full of godliness.

We should make every effort to do the right thing.


- - - 

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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Heresification Of Pentecostalism

The Pentecostal movement is experiencing accelerated heresification due to the introduction of non-Pentecostal influences, both in the pulpit, in its leadership positions, and in its general membership.

(Heresification: the permeation of heresy into a belief-system.)
Christianity is being defined today, not by Holy Ghost-filled men of God, but by "Christian" corporate trainers and leadership gurus who do not believe in or practice the Pentecostal experience. The larger part of them actually refute Pentecostal doctrines. That cannot possibly be good for Pentecostalism.

The pulpits and platforms of Pentecostal Churches are being hijacked by messages and methods that were not hewn out of the Word of God, but which were easily cut-and-pasted from non-Pentecostal resources. We have become self-indicting suckers for sound-and-light shows, high-tech multi-media, and state-of-the-art gadgets and methods. NONE of these things can possibly improve upon the supernatural power and presence of Almighty God. It is a great delusion and a great deception, and despite my passionate desire to prevent people from being seduced into it, what I say here is unlikely to stop anyone from being destroyed by it - unless they have a very sensitive heart that genuinely does not want to be deceived.

We also kid ourselves to believe that ANYTHING produced by the carnal mind can help God save the world.

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63.


In the Early Church, even the DEACONS had to be men "full of the Holy Ghost," (Acts 6:3). NOW, we have national and international leaders in the Church who do NOT have the Holy Ghost, and many who actually refute the Baptism of the Holy Ghost!

If you want to see God work majestic things in a Church, then focus on attaining to a majestic relationship with God through prayer, fasting and study of the Word of God. Do NOT turn to the beggarly elements of the world in an effort to improve the Church. It simply does not and cannot work that way.

Any time you incorporate the world, the flesh, and the devil into the work of God, it can only be counterproductive, no matter how stunning the visual and aural effects are. Fabulous music and award-winning oratory can never replace the authentic anointing and blessing of God upon the uncompromised preaching of His Holy Word.

It is high time for Apostolic Pentecostal Holiness preachers and believers to slam the door in the face of non-Pentecostal, non-Holiness influences that are with lightning-speed taking over the forums and venues of Pentecostalism - and DISPLACING authentic Pentecostal preaching as it does.

Unless we shut out the non-Pentecostal voices with haste, the Pentecostal Church as we know it will soon be a much larger NON-Pentecostal Church.

If Pentecostalism cannot survive on its own merits, it certainly will be no more pleasing to God by introducing non-Pentecostal elements to put it on life-support.

We have been duped into believing that we need a catalyst from the outside to accelerate our growth. The more the Church depends on non-Pentecostal methods and messages, the less influence the Pentecostal message has. It is only a matter of time before the Pentecostal Church will think it has no need at all for true Apostolic doctrine, the Pentecostal experience or Holiness living.

The so-called catalyst is actually not a catalyst. It is a deadly poison.

The Pentecostal Church of the Book of Acts was entirely supported by the preaching of the Word of God with the power and anointing of the Holy Ghost. It is unthinkable that God would, in these last days, abandon anointed preaching and supernatural ministry for academic, corporate, or institutional processes. The Church is only legitimate when its message is pure, holy and doctrinally correct. God consigns NO MANDATE for wrong doctrine, false doctrine or doctrine-less preaching.

We do not need smoke and mirrors. We do not need executive-run Churches. We do not need more highly-trained leaders who are ignorant of God's Word, who do not have a divine call into ministry, or who do not live with conviction holy, godly lives. We need spiritual ministry that only comes from God.

I KNOW I am not wrong about this. I have, in my 45+ years of ministry, run the entire gamut of religious fads and fashions, and have consequently witnessed the complete transformation of Christianity from something that was holy, sacred and supernatural into something that is industrial, mechanical and entertaining.

It is time right now to stop the heresification of Pentecostalism.

Go back to the Bible. Get back on your knees. Fast and pray for a fresh visitation of the supernatural power of God. It will come.


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beware The Swift River Current

Years ago, I had a very disturbing dream. 
In the dream, I was standing along a great river that was at flood stage. It was a perilous river, and I was standing in a small jut in the embankment. The waters where I stood were only a few inches deep and there was only a slight swirl in the waters. But if I had only stepped forward a few steps, I would have quickly been swept away into the fierce, deep, treacherous current and drowned. 

There is no way I could have resisted the destructive force of the swift river current.

More important than the sight of the river was the sense that I was being warned by God against getting caught in the currents of popular religious trends. I had no doubts whatever that the dangerous river represented the popular but unbiblical and undoctrinal practices that were sweeping away Christians by multitudes. I knew that if I got caught in the current of popular religious trends, I would not survive. I would lose my bearings and be lost forever.

I know of only one way to interpret the dream.


They are deadly. They are overcharged with carnality, worldliness and Satan's most sophisticated spiritual deceptions. Once you get caught in the heavy current of popular trends, it will be as if you have no control over yourself. Do not risk your eternal soul by being swept away by unscriptural, unholy teachings of men and women who do not even know the great Truths of the Bible.

The story of my life is one of spiritual warfare - trying to survive and rise above the countless errors of religion. If you are indiscriminate about your religion - if you do not put your religion to the rigorous test of true Bible doctrine - then it is almost 100% certain that you will be lost.

You cannot afford to measure your Church by its popularity, by the popularity of the Preacher, by the size of the crowd, by the amount of money that is coming into it, NOT EVEN by the signs, wonders and miracles that may be performed. (The Bible is exceedingly clear that there will be FALSE workers in the last days who are able to imitate and emulate all the signs, wonders and miracles of true believers).
“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses [also turning their rods into snakes], so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith,” 2 Timothy 3:8.

So, miracles do not prove that a Church is on the right track. Beware, and be prepared to abandon ship.

ONLY the Bible and true Bible doctrine can legitimize a Church, a Preacher or a Saint.

If your doctrine is wrong, you had better get it right. And fast. Time is running out. We are fast approaching the end of the age.

I am watching entire movements fall into the abyss of false doctrines and heresies. I am watching Pentecostal people turn away from Pentecostalism and embrace non-Pentecostal beliefs. That is the ultimate slam against the Book of the Acts of the Apostles - and a grand slap in God's face.

I see multitudes walking away from holiness and separation from the world in cold-blooded denial of Paul's admonition that without holiness, "NO MAN shall see the Lord," (Hebrews 12:13).

I even see, for the first time in the history of the world, Christians embracing and approving of homosexuality - which for thousands of years has been known as an abomination in the eyes of God.

Too many religious leaders have created a FALSE DEFENSE of doing what they do in the name of evangelism and winning the lost. They have deceived themselves into thinking that God cares more about larger numbers than in obeying His commandments and doing His will. They use a phony, pretentious assault on "legalism" to sear their consciences of any convictions against worldliness and carnality.

There is a ghastly error there.

When the Church ceases to stand firm for TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and HOLINESS, it has completely lost its mandate from God.

You cannot save the lost with false doctrine, lies, carnality and worldliness.

You cannot make a Church better by adding football, dramas, concerts, high-tech websites or any such peripherals. For all practical purposes, you make it worse, because you begin to rely on carnal activities and manifestations rather than spiritual.

If we can't produce a revival with the preaching of Truth, then we will just have to forgo the revival, because a LIE cannot and will not ever produce a real revival.

Carnally-minded leaders cannot lead men to a godly spiritual destination.

Disobedient men cannot be trusted to teach obedience.

Men who are in error cannot be trusted to be vendors of Truth.

God sends His ministers to preach TRUTH. But He also sends seducers and deceivers to stumble every man and woman who does not love Truth, but has pleasure in unrighteousness.

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness," 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.

Any time you discover that the minister is not adhering to sound Bible doctrines, it is time to abandon that minister and that Church - regardless of how many ties you may have or how long you have been associated with it. (That of course requires that you KNOW what the Bible says. If you do not know what the Bible says, it is nearly impossible that you will not be taken in by every whim of false doctrine and deception.)

Paul taught Timothy that many are caught in "the snare of the devil," and are "taken captive by him AT HIS WILL," 2 Timothy 2:26. If you are not well-versed in the true Word of God, you are Satan's easy prey. Deliver yourself from his snare before you fall into it.

It is better to live for God FRIENDLESS than to maintain a friendship with someone who will certainly lead you to hell. In my sixty years, I have had to walk away from many friends and associates on several occasions because of my concern for my eternal soul. AND... I will do it again and again, if and when it ever becomes necessary.

I owe no allegiance to anybody who will lead me to Hell.

ONLY the Bible is infallible. We read too many non-Biblical books and listen to too many neo-Christian and pseudo-Christian voices. If we spent as much time reading the Bible, praying, and living a holy life as we spend reading other points of view, and listening to non-Biblical voices, we would soon discover just how deceived we have been.

Do NOT take your cues from "contemporary" leaders with fancy methods and messages.

Popular movements are not holy. Holy movements are not popular.

There is no reason for a man of God to take his cues from pseudo-Christian or neo-Christian voices. There is more than enough Gospel to preach – STRAIGHT FROM THE PAGES OF THE BIBLE!

The best place for a man of God to get his message and his ministry is on his knees with his Bible open.

A man of God must know the Word of God, and PREACH the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

Stand on solid ground.

Stay out of the swift river current!

- - -

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Lost Lessons of Pinocchio

Do you remember seeing Disney's 1940 movie "Pinocchio" when you were a kid? It was only the second full-length animated movie that Walt Disney ever produced. When I first saw it on "The Wonderful World of Disney" on TV one Sunday evening in the 1950s, I was fascinated, mesmerized and horrified.

The story was about a puppet-maker named Geppetto who created a wooden puppet he named Pinocchio. One night, on the way to bed, Geppetto saw a falling star and made a wish that his puppet, Pinocchio, would become a real, live boy. After Geppetto fell asleep, a Blue Fairy came and brought Pinocchio to life. She gave him a conscience to tell him right from wrong in the form of a little side-kick named Jiminy Cricket. If Pinocchio proved to be brave, truthful and unselfish, he would be transformed into a real boy.

Geppetto was beside himself with joy when he awoke in the night to find that Pinocchio was alive. The next morning, he sent Pinocchio off to school to get his education. But on the way to school, Pinocchio was met by two villainous characters who, when they realized that he was alive, tricked him into working for Stromboli, a puppeteer. They lured him with the promise that he would be rich and famous.

The Lure and The Trap

Surely enough, Pinocchio's performance with Stromboli was wildly successful and they made a lot of money, so the two went to dinner to celebrate. But Stromboli turned out to be an evil fellow, and locked Pinocchio in a cage to make sure that he continued performing for him. In the nick of time, Jiminy and the Blue Fairy came on the scene.

The Blue Fairy scolded Pinocchio for his bad choices, and Pinocchio began to tell lies to cover up his error. His nose began to grow longer with each lie. Jiminy pleaded with the Blue Fairy to help Pinocchio escape, which she did, warning Pinocchio that she could only do that once.

But before he could arrive home at Geppetto's, Pinocchio's tricksters, Honest John and Gideon, intercepted him again. The old villains convinced Pinocchio that he was sick and needed a vacation to Pleasure Island. In no time, Pinocchio found himself in a coach full of other boys being transported out to Pleasure Island. He did not know that Pleasure Island was a cursed place where boys were finally sold into slavery and forced to work in the salt mines and circuses.

The Consequence

Pinocchio got caught up in the maddening crowd of raucous, mischievous boys who utterly desecrated the whole place. Before he realized what was happening, Pinocchio found himself and his friend Lampwick smoking and drinking in a dungy old pool hall in the dark of night. Jiminy, trying to be a good conscience, confronted the two boys for their bad behavior. But it was to no avail, so Jiminy finally stormed out in exasperation.

While playing pool, Lampwick was suddenly transformed into a braying donkey, a not-so-subtle lesson in how mischievous boys make fools of themselves. Pinocchio looked on in horror as his friend was transformed, but even more so, when he began to grow donkey's ears and found himself braying.

There was much more to the story, and many more frightening episodes before Pinocchio came to his senses and showed himself to be brave and unselfish, and was turned into a real boy.

A Generation takes the Lure

But the lessons of Disney's Pinocchio have been lost on this generation. In fact, there are few entities on earth who have worked more feverishly than Disney to turn an entire generation of young people into fools. With the very same promises of riches and fame, Disney has lured millions of young people into dancing and laughing their lives away. The deeply moral lessons cameoed in the story of Pinocchio seem to have been the last time Disney ever visited morality.

And so we now have a generation of young people who are taken to Pleasure Island every day of their lives via television, theaters, iPods, websites, and every conceivable venue of entertainment, music, song and dance. Even in our Churches, now, kids seem unable to sit and listen to a man of God preach the Gospel anymore. They only want to be entertained with more song and dance. It is a treacherous descent into spiritual, moral and mental slavery.

Nobody seems to remember anymore that “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Proverbs 16:25.

I will never again trust Disney – or ANY of their kind. They have perfected the art of turning our kids into donkeys.

Just look at how all their child stars have turned out.

We Must Deliver Ourselves

That is why we must ABANDON the practices of allowing Hollywood to teach our children. That is the job of godly preachers and godly parents.

We need to turn off our televisions, stay out of the movie theaters, and go to a Church where true men of God teach the unadulterated Word of God. Then, and only then, can we have real confidence that our children are going to learn the ways of God.

Hollywood cannot be trusted to teach anything right.

Just like Stromboli, Honest John and Gideon, Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Satan and his minions will use any and every trick in the trade to lure you into the slavery of sin.

Resist him in Jesus' name.

If you truly want to survive...

You simply MUST get back to the Bible. 

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My "Problem" Is That I Take The Bible Too Seriously

I am not the only preacher on earth who clearly sees that Christianity is going to Hell in a hand basket. I am watching Christianity completely re-define itself, and the changes are illegitimate, pernicious and out-of-context of the holy scriptures. The new Christianity has an entirely new vocabulary of neo-Christian ideals, but in very large part, without Biblical precedent. A huge component of modern Christianity is derived from success-prosperity, positive-thinking, self-actualization, and humanist roots - NOT the Bible. Only a very few Bible verses are being interspersed, and mostly with a diabolical twist.

It is DEEPLY DISTURBING to see "liberal-progressive"-minded men pastoring many of the largest and most visible Churches, and dominating the Christian media. They are not men of God, but teachers of very unbiblical doctrines which are leading multitudes of unsuspecting followers headlong into Hell. In many cases, the new Christians arrogantly condemn traditional and historical Christian values, as if theirs is the first generation to "do it right."

I am not a novice, and my observations are not unstudied or impulsive. I began preaching in 1966, and have preached in Churches of just about every fundamental evangelical denomination and persuasion (dozens of denominations). I am now a dyed-in-the-wool Pentecostal of the old school. I have ministered for more than 40 years in just about every kind of venue - from small country Churches to big city Churches, singing and preaching to crowds in crusades, conferences, camp meetings or concerts in civic centers, coliseums, hotel ballrooms, auditoriums, jails, maximum security prisons, etc., on radio and television, and in forty states and six countries, in a thousand different settings.

For more than fifteen years, now, I have had a significant presence on the Internet, and have communicated by email with tens of thousands of my Bible-study subscribers in at least 215 nations.

Because of the enormous amount of personal feedback that I receive every single day from my Internet ministry, I have a pretty good feel for what is going on in religion around the world.

I have never seen anything worse than what I see nowadays.

Go to Facebook, if you want, and click around on the personal favorites of professing Christians. Take note of the Favorite Movies, Favorite Music, Favorite Celebrities, Favorite TV Shows of professing Christians. Look at their favorite link, "Let's have a Jesus Revival!" right next to their "True Blood" favorite.

It is utterly shocking and appalling to see the liberal, amoral, anything-goes, "I'm OK, You're OK," psyche of multitudes who call themselves Christians. BIBLICAL Christianity has almost no influence whatsoever on the minds of this generation.

If you call yourself a Christian, yet entertain yourself nightly with the likes of HBO, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, SNL, et al, you are totally deceiving yourself.

If Jesus dared to take a whip and scourge and drive the dove-sellers out of the Holy Temple, I have no doubt whatsoever that He would throw a chair right through the television screen today.

You are not offended by those things? You laugh and roll in the floor while they hurl the vilest obscenities and profanities at Churches, Christians, preachers, marriage, the Bible, and GOD HIMSELF???!!! You should be ashamed of yourself.

You should throw the chair through the television yourself! Instead, you call the cable franchise and order more channels and more pay-per-view, thereby paying the bills of these God-haters.

The only thing worse than the utter degeneracy of modern Christians is the degeneracy of the Pastors of these Christians.

They are wolves in sheep clothing.

Jesus warned: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves," Matthew 10:16.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves," Matthew 7:15.

"I send you forth as lambs among wolves," Luke 10:3.

Paul said, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock," Acts 20:29.

Sometimes, the wolves are in the pulpit. Sometimes, the wolves are in the pew. Whoever they are, they are malignant and toxic. Be on your best guard.

They are evil men (or women). They are seducers. They make merchandise of you. They laugh into their shirt-sleeves at your naivety and gullibility. They know in their hearts that they are as carnal and worldly and lustful as you are, and yet they are passing themselves off as your spiritual mentors, and making a handsome living while they lead you to Hell. The blind leading the blind.

No wonder that multitudes of teenagers are abandoning Christianity. No wonder that children have no idea who Jesus is, or what the Gospel is all about. No wonder that Justin Bieber can pass himself off as a Christian. Who really cares? The Devil himself could probably muster a 49% approval rating if a poll asked if the Devil is a Christian.

The "problem" with me is that I take the Bible way too seriously.

I believe every verse in the Bible. I believe every thing it says. I don't use fourteen different versions of the Bible trying to find a version that doesn't say what I don't want to hear. I read the 400-year-old, tried and proven King James Version that tells me everything I need to know about God, in the King's English. And I will never buy the false claims that there is a better, more accurate English version out there, because there is not.

The Bible tells me that God called the children of Israel, and told them, "Ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have SEVERED YOU from other people, that ye should be mine," Leviticus 20:26.

If you will take about two minutes to consider everything you can quickly remember about the nation of Israel, you will realize that for the past 3500 years, Israel has been hated by the world because God placed an exclusive claim on them and called them to be different from all the other nations of the earth.

But God did a similar thing with the Church - and with every Christian.

God had told Israel, "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you," Leviticus 20:7-8.

Peter said that the SAME ORDER stands for the New Testament Church!

"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy," 1 Peter 1:15-16.

Unless and until you get a grip on what it means for a Christian to "come out" and "be separate" from the world, the flesh, and the devil, you really don't have the first clue about what being a Christian really is.

It is time for everybody to take the Bible seriously. Very seriously. That book is going to judge you in the end. So, are you going to sit and watch another flesh-exalting episode of 'American Idol,' while your Bible sits unopened, unstudied, unknown, unbelieved and unlived for another week?

 - - -

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Need A Place To Pray

You need a quiet, solitary place to pray.
Once or twice each week, I go to Church, and into the Prayer Room, to spend time alone with God. Sometimes, I stay there for an hour. At other times, I may stay for three or four hours. It may be during the day time, or it may be at night, even in the wee hours. When I go to the Prayer Room, it is because I want to conduct serious business with God. That is one of my most valuable and intense prayer times.

In my fifty-nine years, I have spent literally thousands of sacred hours alone in Church houses - praying, reading my Bible, and seeking the will of God. And I will confide to you that the Prayer Room is the most luxurious amenity in my life. There is no place on earth more comforting or more sacred than the place where I get alone with God in prayer. I would rather have a Prayer Room than a luxury car, an RV, a yacht, or anything else I can think of.

Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when He said,

"Mine house shall be a house of prayer for all people."

A Church is not supposed to be merely an assembly hall
where lectures are given. One large Church where I served on staff as a young man had as its motto, "Where People Meet God."
If people do not meet God at Church, then what is Church for?

Simeon and Anna were in the Temple
the day that Joseph and Mary brought baby Jesus to be dedicated. But that was no coincidence. Simeon and Anna were regulars in the Temple. Anna "was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day," Luke 2:37.

If you make a habit of seeking God regularly, it is certain that the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Temple.

King David also had a deep love for the house of God. He said, "A day in thy courts is better than a thousand [elsewhere]." Psalms 84:10. In the great crises of his life, David ran to the house of God for refuge.

In the beginning, Churches were not Rock-and-Roll Concert venues. They were not Drama Theaters. They were not basketball courts. They were not community centers, soup kitchens, or recreation centers.

The house of God was, and should be, a holy, sacred, sanctified, consecrated house where people can always go to pray. Today's Churches are often multi-purpose, multi-cultural activity centers. In many cases, they are used more as gymnasiums for youth to hang out, or cafeterias for seniors to have pot-luck dinners, or sound stages for musicians to jam in, than for sacred purposes.

The sad reality is that many Churches are so much like Grand Central Station with activities, that it would be almost impossible to find a quiet, undisturbed place to pray. Why do we feel that it is so important to conduct our social activities in the Church building, yet we seldom think to use it for the far-more-important, divinely-ordained purpose for the house of God?

From the beginning, the Church was NOT such a recreational center.
People came to the house of God to spend holy, consecrated time in the presence of God.
Today, if you go to a typical Church house to pray, you may find that there is no privacy or no sanctity whatsoever. The Church house has been hijacked for secular purposes. We have forgotten that the most important furnishings in any Church are the ALTAR and the PULPIT.

That kind of invasion of the holy place was the cause of Jesus' outrage in John 2:14-16:

"And when he had made a scourge of small cords,
he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep,
and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money,
and overthrew the tables; And said unto them
that sold doves, Take these things hence;
make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."

More details of that scenario are recorded in Matthew 21:12-14:

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them
that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables
of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
And said unto them, It is written,
My house shall be called the house of prayer
but ye have made it a den of thieves.
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple;
and he healed them."

The Church must be first and foremostly a house of prayer.

Prayer has always been the precedent and prelude to every spiritual revival throughout the ages. When the Holy Ghost first began to fall in America, in 1901, it began at a small Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, organized by Charles Parham. For days, his students met together in Chapel for intercessory prayer, until on New Year's Eve, 1901, the Spirit came upon them, and several began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance.

When the epic revival began in Los Angeles, at the Azusa Street Mission, pastored by William Seymour - that sweeping revival was preceded by weeks and months of intense prayer meetings by the people of that community. That revival in 1906 radically affected not only Los Angeles, but has also, since that time, spread literally to every nation on earth.

Revival does not come by basketball tournaments, or outdoor concerts, or free hot dogs. Revival comes by prayer. And that is true of both personal revival and Church-wide revival.

When we restore the priority of prayer in our lives, miracles will begin happening. Your life has never been so rich as when you regularly and habitually enter into the house of God to pray.

"They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint," Isaiah 40:31.

The next time you sense your need to get alone with God, go to the house of God, and pray.

You may find that it is your most cherished time of all. You may find that you want to make a habit of it.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Church Has No Common Textbook Anymore!

(The Irrational Abandonment Of The KJV Bible)

The King James Version has been supplanted, to the tragic detriment of the Kingdom of God. Christianity no longer has a universally-acclaimed textbook! This is a SERIOUS problem!

By Ken Raggio

Rick Warren did as much as anybody to distract us from the King James Version of the Bible, when he consistently used a variety of versions in his "Purpose Driven" books.

Now, fewer and fewer people can actually quote scriptures. I am not blaming Warren alone, but the irrational abandonment of the King James Bible has cost Christianity more than can be measured.

I know - people say that the King James Version is too hard to understand.

Well, that is arguable. I first read the entire New Testament when I was about 10 years old. It never occurred to me that it was too difficult to read. I seemed to understand it very well. I could easily follow the stories of Jesus in the Gospels. I was excited to read the stories in the Acts of the Apostles. I read the Epistles, and even the Book of Revelation. At eleven years old, there were a lot of things that I did not understand, but it wasn't because of its readability. It was because those things required an adult mind to fully appreciate.

All of my life, I listened to preachers preach from the King James Version of the Bible. The KJV never discouraged me from trying to understand every story I heard or read.

Then, at about the age of 15, as a member of a Bible Quiz team, I memorized the majority of the Epistles of 1 and 2 Corinthians. Again, I was able to understand amazingly well all the things that were being taught in those pages.
I preached my first sermon at the age of 14, using a KJV Thompson Chain Reference Bible as my textbook. By the time I graduated from High School I had already preached about 100 sermons. Every sermon I prepared in those days was dug out almost solely from the King James Version of the Bible. I did not preach other people's sermons.

I prepared my own sermons directly from the Bible. I searched the entire Bible on various Bible topics. I learned how to find scores of verses on just about any subject that I wanted to develop. I was never hindered by "Thee" or "Thou" or the "Shalt" and "Shalt not." It doesn't take rocket science to know that Thee or Thou means you, or Shalt means shall.

By the time I was 21 years old, I could quote hundreds of scripture verses from all over the Bible. I could tell scores of detailed Bible stories and understand the underlying messages. The KJV never handicapped me. In those days, it was used almost universally.

But nowadays, you can scarcely find a King James Bible being used.

People who read the other versions almost never memorize verses. Even if they do memorize verses, nobody recognizes them, because there are so many versions out there.

And tragically, many people are not using other versions, but actual PARAPHRASES. No paraphrase deserves the appellation, "Bible." (How would you like for your love-letters to your spouse to be paraphrased by two dozen total strangers? You would certainly find many of their word-substitutes unacceptable.)
When it comes to scriptural ACCURACY - "THE MESSAGE" is almost entirely worthless. I have spent over fifty years studying the Bible from cover to cover, and I can tell you that if your primary Bible is THE MESSAGE - you won't have a clue what the Bible says. You may like the way it speaks to you - but that cannot justify its pernicious, inaccurate representation of TRUTH. In my book, an inaccurate TRUTH is a lie.

In my strong opinion, the biggest single reason why Christianity should cleave to the KJV is for the purpose of maintaining a universal standard in the English language. We have utterly shot ourselves in the foot. Almost nobody can quote scriptures any more. Almost nobody can recognize where a verse comes from. That is much more serious - even tragic - than anyone is admitting.

Every English-speaking person should be able to recognize the Word of God and quote it in a common version. Otherwise, the practice of scripture memorization will be almost entirely lost.

I do not intend to make this article a comparison of Bible versions, but it is not difficult at all for you to GOOGLE "what's wrong with other versions of the Bible" to discover how many critical Bible passages have been tampered with or completely eliminated from most of the alternate versions of the Bible. I have a HUGE problem with that. NIV, RV, Amplified, Duoay, and others - while having a limited usefulness - are NOT reliable versions of the Bible.

Great and primary doctrines of the Bible have been mishandled in the alternate versions. Several of the most essential doctrines have been almost completely eliminated in some versions, including the doctrine of the Blood of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, God's Plan of Redemption and others.

At the risk of sounding like a radical (anybody with firm convictions is now a radical), I declare that Christians everywhere need to own a quality King James Version of the Bible. The biggest single reason why you won't like it is an unfounded or irrational mental block.

I am warning you... if you do not learn the Word of God from the KJV, you are at grave risk for being deceived or misled by errant and inaccurate versions. READABILITY is NOT the most important issue. TRUTH is the issue.

Yes, I know that many people argue that we have a better understanding of the ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages than the King James translators had. That is also arguable. Many of the modern translations have a definite agenda behind them. NOBODY needs a translation that is done by scholars working with an agenda. The Word of God must be PURE and untainted by men's opinions or profit motives.

The King James Version was the world-wide standard for centuries. That alone leads me to believe that Almighty God ordained it to be the primary English version of the Bible. Call me narrow-minded if you want to, but I am telling you anyway, that if we want the Church to be strong in this hostile generation, we need a COMMON TEXTBOOK.

No other English version of the Bible deserves to be the universal textbook than the King James Version.


MUST READ!  -  Here is another powerful article that explains
WHY you should ONLY use the KING JAMES VERSION.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Pied Piper in the Church

In Hamelin, Germany, every Sunday during the summer, local villagers act out the folk tale of "The Pied Piper," which dates back to 1284.

Nobody knows with any certainty how the story began, but it is presumed that the old city suffered in those days from a rat infestation. As the story goes, a man dressed in red and yellow clothing presented himself to the townsmen, offering to rid the city of its rats. The men of the city gladly promised to pay him a large sum of money for his service.

The Pied Piper played an enchanting melody on his pipe, and immediately all the rats in town began to follow him. He led them out to the edge of town and into a river, where they all drowned.

When the Pied Piper came to the townsmen to collect, they felt that his task had been far too easy, and that they should not have to pay him the large sum they had promised.

In anger, the Pied Piper promised to punish them for reneging on their promise.

He went into the streets and began again to play his enchanting pipe. This time, the children of the town began to follow him. He led them far outside the town, and into a mysterious cave, where they were never seen again.

Because of the Pied Piper, the town's children were lost.

Of course, the fable is not true, but there are certain valuable morals in this story.

From that story, a famous idiom eventually came into being, namely,

"You'll have to pay the Piper someday."

There is a price to pay for enchantments, for quick fixes.

In the Church today, a similar story is unfolding.

As the Townsmen of Hamelin recruited the services of the Pied Piper, so now have the Preachers of the Gospel solicited the services of the Singers.

In Churches across America and around the world, an infestation of unbelief, atheism, agnosticism and cynicism plagued the Church. The Preachers no longer preached the pure word of God that could have rid the people of the scourge of unbelief. But instead, they called in the Singers and Musicians to fascinate and enchant their congregations.

The people were happy to be entertained by the Singers and the Musicians, so much so that they lost their desire to hear the Preacher. Instead of following the Preacher, the people began to follow the Singers and the Musicians.

The Singers demanded handsome fees for their services, and eventually discovered that they could earn more money OUTSIDE the Church. Many of them CROSSED-OVER to the world. They would sing for anybody who would pay them, in just about any kind of venue, and God, the Bible, and everything holy vanished from their lives. In their exodus, they lured the people of the Church away from the Preacher.

Now, multitudes who were once in the Church, following the Preacher, have been lured away from the Church, and their pseudo-religion is being led by the Singers and the Musicians. The Singers have no doctrine, so the Church is perishing.

Preacher, Pastor. God called you and anointed you to preach the Gospel. Your job is to preach the pure, unadulterated Word of God to the people. This is not a job for the Pied Piper.

The Pied Piper has no doctrine. He has not been called to do your job. The Pied Piper cannot and will not save the people. The Pied Piper will lure the people away from the Truth, away from the pure Gospel, and back into the world, where they will finally be lost.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Blackbird and the French fry

I was sitting in my car on a restaurant parking lot, waiting to meet up with some friends for lunch.

Several blackbirds were hopping around the parking lot, looking for something to eat. One of them found something that actually looked like a cigarette butt, but he grabbed it up, and quickly ran underneath an automobile to evaluate his find.

The other birds nearby suddenly noticed that their buddy had found something, and, thinking it was real food, they came running after him, unabashedly intending to steal it away from him.

I moralized about that scene as I watched.
The first blackbird must have instinctively known that if and when he did find some food, he had better quickly get away from everybody else, lest they take it away from him.

"Then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved," Luke 8:12.

That is when it dawned on me how deliberately he had run underneath the automobile. He knew what the others would do. His was an act of self-preservation, and an act to keep what he thought was food.

Then, I surmised that there is so much hunger among blackbirds, and such a scarcity of food, that one morsel of ANYTHING could immediately become a commodity worth fighting for.

That little scene made quite an impression on me at the moment, but it was not until a few weeks later that I learned an even more important lesson from the blackbirds.

I came out of Walmart one day, and got into my car. I saw that in front of me, a blackbird had found a French fry. Immediately, I remembered the previous scene from weeks before. I thought to myself, "He had better get out of sight fast with that French fry, or another bird will steal it away from him."

Before I finished my thought, that exact thing happened. Several other blackbirds swooped down as from out of nowhere, and launched a hungry assault on the guy with the French fry. He ran a few steps, and then flew off as fast as he could with his French fry - all of his buddies in hot pursuit.

The aerial combat only lasted a few seconds, but the biggest part of the French fry was torn from his beak, and only a small portion remained for him to eat. Seconds later, the stolen piece was again severed in combat. In the end, three birds had their share of that French fry.

Since I am forever trying to learn everything I can about life, I again moralized, "The guy with the French fry is always going to be hunted down."

That is actually good news to a preacher of truth, or to any true Christian believer.

In a world where TRUTH (i.e., a French fry) has fallen in the streets, and where LIES (i.e., cigarette butts) seemingly rule the day, sooner or later, people are going to get tired of chasing cigarette butts, and chase furiously after a French fry.

Actually, I believe that most men ARE hungry for truth, but truth is being trampled on the right, and on the left. Nevertheless, if YOU are the guy who holds the truth in your mouth, men will eventually come looking for you.

If you have sacred, divine TRUTH, the day will come when men will fight over themselves to get what you have.

You may not believe what I am saying, but you just wait and see. As this world grows darker and darker and darker, the day is going to soon come that men will risk their lives for one morsel of truth.

Men who make lies their commodity will eventually try to kill the guys who hold the truth.

But men who will tenaciously seek after and cling to the truth about God, the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are soon going to become the most sought-after men on earth.

Just remember what I am saying.
You can learn the very same lesson when you watch bugs swarm around a night light. Bugs are not the only creatures who are attracted to a light. Men are attracted to a light. Drive through ANY community late at night and see where people congregate. Watch the kids congregate under the lights on the grocery store parking lot.

If YOU have LIGHT in you, men will eventually be drawn to you. As the world gets darker and darker, the light you possess will have even more appeal to those who are in darkness.

Men are attracted to food. Men are attracted to light.
When the world tires of chasing cigarette butts, they are going to increasingly pursue any guy with a French fry.

Herein is a tragedy. Most men cannot initially tell the difference between a cigarette butt and a French fry. That is why so much phony religion is thriving right now. People are buying into phony religion because they cannot find the real thing. But the day will come - mark my word - when people are going to revolt against cigarette butts, because they will still be empty and hungry. Right now, people will follow anybody who can sing a song, or put on a nice show. But the day will come when somebody is going to scream, “PREACH THE WORD!”

THEN, a guy with a French fry is going to be the most-wanted guy in town.

This all reminds me of Jesus' parable about the ten virgins. The five who were WISE took oil in their vessels for their lamps. The five who were foolish "took no oil with them." At midnight, the call came for them to go out and meet the bridegroom, but those who were foolish had no oil in their lamps.

"And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." Matthew 25:8-10.

If you find a French fry, hold on to it - tightly. You may be the only bird in town who has something to eat when things get tough.

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