Tuesday, December 17, 2013

No Cathedrals For Pentecostals

The strength of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church is not in a centuries-old hierarchical structure. Its strength is not in guilded, stained-glass cathedrals, lettered seminarians, heavily-endowed institutions, or in pipe organs and choirs.

Furthermore, the strength of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church is not in worldly-wise prelates, in its international diplomatic corps, or in its priesthood consecrated to celibacy or poverty. Neither is the strength of the true Church in its material, earthly wealth.

The strength of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church is in its authentic Apostolic message. The Word of God accompanied by the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost indwelling consecrated men and women of God has always been and will always be the forte of Pentecost. It is "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts."

Paul said, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God," 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

If there is any weakness in today's Apostolic Church, it is due to a departure from the fundamental essence of what the Church of Jesus Christ was from the beginning. Ordinary but supremely godly men, enflamed by the Word of God, preached with passion and anointing in the highways and byways; casting out devils, healing the sick, speaking with new tongues. Praying, fasting, reading their Bibles, living holy, separated, consecrated lives unto the Lord - without robes, chalices, censers, crucifixes, cathedrals, or any such pomp, ceremony, or other excesses.

They were perceived to be "ignorant and unlearned men." But don't be fooled. They were the wisest men who ever lived. Their revelation of God far exceeded that of modern ecclesiasticals. Today's "high Church" is in reality not Church at all. It is a sham, a mockery, and vaudeville stage-show compared to the original New Testament Church.

Peter, James and John did not wear cassocks or clerical collars. They didn't blow smoke with censers. They didn't parade around in pompous processionals. They didn't read mind-numbing homilies in Latin out of dusty old books full of dead, powerless platitudes.

They were men on fire. They preached extemporaneously. They shouted. They rebuked. They fearlessly denounced sin and sinners. They shamelessly called men to repent openly of their sins, go to the waters and be baptized from head to toe by full immersion in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins, and COMMANDED them to be filled with the Holy Ghost. They laid hands on them and they spoke with other tongues as the Spirit of God gave the utterance. They had supernatural dreams and visions, angelic visitations and an endless parade of miracles.

A dead church lays hands on them and nothing whatsoever happens.

The ONLY FUTURE of Pentecost, in fact, the only future of the TRUE CHURCH, is in returning to the Bible, and the absolute rejection of all phony churchisms. We must get back to reading the Bible, praying, fasting, speaking in tongues, casting out devils, healing the sick, performing miracles, living holy and godly lives to the glory of God.

All of the phony stuff is going to rot in Hell. You'd better believe it.

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For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

God's Symphony

MUSIC demonstrates a very important spiritual precept.

I've been a Church musician since I was eight years old. I've played the piano, organ, accordion, bass, and guitar, and sang, since my school days. God gave me the gift of music when I was very small, and I began playing the organ at Church when I was only eight years old. I wrote several serious Gospel songs by the time I was ten.

Music captivated me.  By day, I listened to Gospel music almost non-stop. By night, I listened to the classics, the symphonies, and the big bands. I seldom listened to popular music like rock and roll, country-western, jazz or blues. I did not enjoy listening to the lyrics of most secular songs, because they expressed values that were contrary to my Christian beliefs, so I intentionally rejected them, and restricted myself to mostly instrumental music.

In the 1950s, pocket-sized transistor radios were newly-invented. From the time I was very small, and for years, I regularly listened to classical music every night after I went to bed. I typically went to sleep with my ear-buds plugged into my transistor radio, tuned to the all-night classical music station as they played Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Vivaldi, Handel, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Wagner, Debussy, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, and others. I listened to the string quartets, chamber music, baroque, romantic and other genres. In the sixth grade, we carefully listened to Grieg's, Peer Gynt Suite, "The Hall of the Mountain King," Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite," and "Peter and the Wolf," by Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev. How could a sixth-grader ever forget them?

Today, when I play the piano, people often tell me that I use chords and transitions that they have never heard before; but I know why. My mind has been programmed with every conceivable chord and transition, because I listened to hundreds, if not thousands of symphony performances which contained almost every conceivable chord, transition and arrangement.

The big bands also helped program me with music. Musical legends like Fred Waring, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and others turned out tons of legendary music. And American conductors like George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Ray Conniff, Mitch Miller, Percy Faith, Jackie Gleason, Norman Luboff, David Rose, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lawrence Welk, Bert Kaempfert, Burt Bacharach, John Williams and others filled the world with their orchestrations.

Of course, the music of the Church was deeply ingrained into me, too. Hundreds of old hymns dating back two centuries furnished my permanent repertoire. And I also followed virtually all of the notable Gospel artists. George Beverly Shea, Mahalia Jackson, Doris Akers, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jimmy Dean, Louisiana Governor Jimmy Davis, the Sons of the Pioneers, the Chuck Wagon Gang, James Blackwood and the Blackwood Brothers, Hovie Lister and the Statesmen Quartet, the Spear Family, the LeFevres, the Kingsmen, the Jordanaires, J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, Wally Fowler and the Oak Ridge Boys, the Florida Boys, the Dixie Echoes, the Downings, the Happy Goodman Family, the Singing Rambos, the Neylands, the Galileans, Rosie Roselle and the Searchers, Jake Hess and the Imperials, the McDuff Brothers, Big John Hall, Walt Mills, Ralph Carmichael, Thurlow Spurr, the Gaithers, the Lanny Wolfe Trio, Andrae Crouch and the Disciples, and so many, many more.

Music always occupied an enormous part of my life. I knew and have performed literally thousands of Gospel songs.

As a teenager, for six years I performed in the "A" choir, in Interscholastic League solo, ensemble, and choir competitions, and was selected for Regional Choirs, and the Texas All-State Choir. While in the 200-voice All-State Choir, we performed an exhilarating three-night concert series in the Austin Municipal Auditorium before a crowd of 7,000 people, accompanied by a 200-piece All-State Band and a 250-piece All-State Orchestra - 650 talented young musicians on one stage! We performed many classical works, including several in Latin.

Then, while attending an Assemblies of God Bible College, I was a member of a 40-voice touring choir that sang regularly on their weekly radio broadcast, heard on 650 radio stations around the world every Sunday night. In those days, I also had a Gospel group that performed professionally in concerts around the Midwest, with many of the groups I mentioned above.

So, you get the picture. On and on, my story goes, for more than fifty years, I have performed music in Churches, concert halls, and auditoriums, in forty states and six countries.

Let me teach you a spiritual lesson from what I have learned about MUSIC.

I sat recently on the front row in Jones Hall, listening to the Houston Symphony Orchestra as they performed Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. My eyes were drawn to the score they were following, as well as to the Maestro's gesticulating wand-waving, and it reminded me again...


With few exceptions (a soloist singing a cappella, or an instrumental solo), music virtually always involves more than one musician or more than one instrument, or a combination of instruments and voices.

Whether it is a vocal trio singing with a pianist, a soloist singing with a three-piece band, or a massive choir singing with a symphony orchestra, all music is a corporate function.

Multiple voices and multiple instruments demand coordination. It demands scripting. It demands rehearsal. It demands strict adherence to a prearrangement.

If you sit down in a concert hall to listen to a Beethoven Symphony, it is very predictable what you will hear, because every musician, including the conductor, is following a printed score.

When Beethoven was born in 1770, there were no microphones, no recording devices, and no way to preserve the performance for later enjoyment. In those days, the ONLY music was LIVE music.

Therefore, the written score concretely defined the music. Every note, every nuance, every instrument, every voice, was clearly and explicitly defined in the written score.

Ultimately, every musical performance is a fresh expression of the author of the song. Every performance is a repeat performance of the songwriter.

So many times, as I have listened to a symphony, I have tried to imagine what it was like the first night the composer performed it live in some old majestic European concert hall, perhaps in Prague, or Berlin, or Paris. When Beethoven first performed his Fifth Symphony on December 22, 1808, at a mammoth concert in the Theater an der Vein in Vienna, Austria, it was a climatic event. He had spent almost four years composing it, during which time he had stopped repeatedly to compose other works.

The premiere performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was plagued with adversity. The orchestra did not perform well because they had only one full rehearsal. At one point, because one of the performers made a mistake, Beethoven had to stop and start the music over. The massive auditorium was freezing cold, and the entire concert (which included other pieces) was four hours long. The audience was exhausted. Nevertheless, Beethoven went on to publish the score to the Fifth Symphony, and a year-and-a-half later, it was met with rave reviews by the critics in the press.

Today, the Fifth Symphony is one of the most popular and best known compositions in all classical music - and it is one of the most frequently performed pieces anywhere.

EVERY TIME you hear the Fifth Symphony, whether it is Houston, New York, Paris, London, or Vienna, you will hear the very same music - TO THE NOTE!

Why? Because, Beethoven wrote the score to the symphony. 

Every note, with every nuance - every forte', every pianissimo, etc. - for every string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument is forever defined. Only the final interpretation of the music by the Maestro gives the performance its ultimate sentient essence.

Ultimately, the SCORE is what reveals Beethoven's intentions to us. The score defines the music. And the performers - the musicians - only channel the music to the listeners.

The music in the score is the source of all revelation of the song.

The MINISTRY of the Church of Jesus Christ
is the performance of God's Symphony;
it is the performance of God's SCORE - the Word of God

The Word of God is the score to the Church, the body of Christ, corporate Christianity.

Now listen to the second-chair Clarinet, on the third row, as he wanders from the score. He begins to play notes that are not written in the score. Every eye is suddenly turned toward him. He stands and begins to play a fascinating rendition of one of Kenny G's mega-hits. The notes he plays are beautiful, but they have NOTHING to do with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Alone, they are cordant, yet in this setting they are discordant. They are chaotic and offensive to the Symphony.

The Maestro glares a wicked eye toward the Clarinetist, and his lips pantomime the words, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!"

Suddenly, confusion strikes the orchestra. The Maestro has been distracted. The musicians nearby lose their place. The song begins to fall apart. In a matter of a few moments, the song grinds to a complete halt. All the musicians are incredulous and upset. The audience is mumbling and squirming. The concert is irredeemably wrecked. It will be remembered by all who attend as the night the symphony melted down.

And in this chaotic scenario, you have a picture of the modern Church. 

The Word of God is God's score. The true Church is God's symphony orchestra. But there is one major problem.

In our time, the song is not being played exactly by the score.

In all of modern times, parts and parcels of the scriptures have been studied and rehearsed and performed. Several movements of the symphony have in fact been played nearly perfectly. But there is one major problem. The entire symphony has never been completed.


Consequently, NOBODY really knows exactly how the symphony is really supposed to sound!

Even if parts of it sound good, the fact remains that it is NOT the symphony that God wrote. It is the music of interlopers.

Since the days of the Early Church, God's Symphony has never been played exactly the same. And the reasons are obvious. There are too many musicians who want to play their own tunes.

The Early Church was Apostolic. Yet the vast majority of the modern Church denies the Apostles' doctrine of the Oneness of God - God in Christ. They refuse God's score, God's script.

The Early Church was baptized in Jesus' name. Yet the vast majority of the modern Church rejects, denies, and refuses to be baptized in Jesus' name. They reject God's score, God's script.

The Early Church was Pentecostal. Yet the vast majority of modern professing Christians deny or do not practice the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. The majority of its ministers have never been baptized in the Holy Ghost and have never spoken in tongues. They contradict God's score, God's script. Their music is not God's symphony.

The Early Church preached and practiced holiness, separation from the world, and a consecrated, sanctified lifestyle. Yet modern Christianity adamantly and tenaciously clings to the world - to its sports, its music, its movies, its comedians, its entertainment, its lifestyles, its fads, its fashions, and its conversations.

They PUT THEIR OWN MUSIC in place of God's score.

They call it Christianity. They call it Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But it is NOT Beethoven's. It is NOT God's. It does NOT follow the script. It is utterly desecrated by solos and ensembles that are NOT in the score.

The Bible has something to say about everything in our lives that matter. The Bible defines marriage, and family, and godliness. The Bible defines right and wrong sexuality, modesty, proper clothing and even hair length. The Bible defines just about everything about a Christian's lifestyle.

But nobody will faithfully follow the score. 


What we call Christianity is NOT true, authentic, original Christianity.

Our generation of Christianity categorically refuses to mind the Bible.

Now this article is getting too long, so I must quickly jump to my final conclusion.

Every preacher, every pastor, and every single Christian must learn to submit to God.

If we want to see the GLORY OF GOD, and if we want to hear God's Symphony exactly as He wrote it, we MUST CONSECRATE OURSELVES to playing the symphony by the score. We must LIVE OUR LIVES BY THE BIBLE.

That demands the ultimate commitment and consecration to let GOD have His way in EVERY, EVERY matter in our life. It requires first that we STUDY the script - the Bible. We must familiarize ourselves with every note, every nuance of the Word of God. And then we must apply ourselves to living EXACTLY by the book, following every doctrine, every standard, every precept of the Word of God.

We've got to throw out all that is wrong with the Church.

We've got to throw out all the false doctrines, false preachers and false prophets. We've got to throw out Easy-Believism, Eternal Security, Once-Saved-Always-Saved junk. We've got to throw out hyper-grace and prosperity preaching. We've got to throw out "dream-your-own-dream, be yourself, follow your heart," heresies.

We've got to throw out all the anti-holiness, come-as-you-are, do-as-you-please, rebellion against the great holiness disciplines of the Bible. We've got to put our clothes back on - women's clothes on women, and men's clothes on men. We've got to get all our gender issues back in line with the Bible. We've got to stop listening to, watching and entertaining ourselves with the voices and leaders of the ungodly world, and start living our lives in holy consecration to God's Symphony.

We've got to get back to preaching the Word of God in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost.

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For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!

Genesis to Revelation.

Every chapter. Every verse. Every line.

Then and only then will be begin to see, and hear, and understand what Almighty God intended for the Church to be from the beginning.

The pathetic state of Christianity today is NOT GOD'S FAULT. It's time for the renegade Clarinetists to sit down and get back to the score. PLAY BY THE SCORE. Live by the Bible. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every month, every year.

THEN, and ONLY THEN, will we begin to see GOD like the Early Church saw Him.

Let's get back to the Bible. 



THAT is God's Symphony. Just play it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Damnable "I Am Not A Sinner" False Doctrine

Do not buy the lie that a Christian is no longer a sinner. Every Holy Ghost-filled Christian has two natures:

1. The OLD sinful, carnal, worldly flesh.
2. The Spirit, Mind of Christ, Word of God.

EVERY DAY, you must crucify the flesh with its lusts, and walk in the Spirit, obedient to the will and mind of God. 

The Bible does NOT simply say there is "no condemnation," but it says, "there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT,"  Romans 8:1.

If you continue to walk in the flesh, the carnal mind, and lusts thereof - THERE IS CONDEMNATION. Stop being CARNAL, and start being GODLY, SPIRITUAL.

"I am no longer a sinner," is a false doctrine being propagated by Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Joseph Prince and many, many others. Do NOT buy it.

The FLESH cannot do RIGHT, and is persistently sinful. 

The SPIRIT cannot do WRONG, and is persistently righteous. 

You MUST walk in the ways of the Spirit to be righteous. If you walk in the ways of the flesh, you are unrighteous. You MUST crucify the flesh daily.

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live," Romans 8:13.

What are the ramifications of believing, "I am not a sinner?"

Anyone who believes they are not a sinner will continue to indulge all the ways of the flesh, the carnal mind, and all the others ways of the world. In doing so, they condemn themselves, according to the verse I have just quoted. 

Those who say they are not a sinner are lying, living a lie, and will go to the Judgment Seat of Christ with unrepented sins, where they will be condemned to Hell for eternity.

Does the argument need to be any more complicated than that?

"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 

IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NOT SINNED, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
1 John 1:7-10

"For I know that in me (that is, IN MY FLESH,) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

For the good that I would I do not: but THE EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT, THAT I DO.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME.

I find then A LAW, that, when I would do good, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Romans 7:18-25


"PUT OFF concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye PUT ON the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness," Ephesians 4:22-24.

"PUT OFF all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have PUT OFF THE OLD MAN with his deeds; And have PUT ON THE NEW MAN, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him," Colossians 3:8-10.

"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God," Romans 6:12-13.

"Know ye not, that TO WHOM YE YIELD YOURSELVES servants to obey, HIS SERVANTS YE ARE to whom ye obey; whether of SIN UNTO DEATH, or of OBEDIENCE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS?" Romans 6:16.

All these verses indicate personal, daily choices of either walking in the flesh in sin, or walking in the Spirit in righteousness. Every day, your choices determine whether the fruit of your life will be unrighteousness or righteousness. 

It is your choice - a behavioral choice. If you fail to make the right choice, you fail to do the will of God.

If you walk in the flesh, you are a sinner. The flesh can do no righteousness. 

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God," 1 John 3:9. That refers to the NEW MAN OF THE SPIRIT.

The NEW MAN cannot sin. The OLD MAN cannot cease from sin.

You must walk in the Spirit and crucify/mortify the flesh to avoid sin. 

IF and WHEN you find yourself walking in the flesh, you must REPENT and put away the works of the flesh. If you don't, your sin will remain with you until Judgment Day.

The IMMEDIATE awful consequence of this devious false doctrine is that the bulk of Christianity is being deluded to believe that THEY CAN DO NO WRONG! Any time that a professing Christian begins to believe "I am no longer a sinner," he or she no longer has a reason to live by ANY standard whatsoever. This is LICENTIOUSNESS - pure and simple. A LICENSE to SIN.

And it is diabolical - born in the heart of Hell. You'd better believe it.

And for what it's worth - a subject for another time - this evil doctrine is rooted in the PAGAN "I AM GOD" theosophy of Freemasons, and virtually every occult and secret order on earth. 

It sprang from Lucifer's lie to Eve, "Ye shall be as gods," IF she would go ahead and do what God had instructed them NOT to do. 

Lucifer convinced Eve that she would NOT be a sinner if she ate the fruit.

And that is what these false preachers want YOU to believe! 

RUN LIKE CRAZY from this damnable "I Am Not A Sinner" doctrine. The next stage of that deception is "I Am A God," followed by, "I Am My Own God," followed by "I Am God," followed by ATHEISM.

It is the road to Hell.

PLEASE SEE THIS ARTICLE for more understanding about the NEW BIRTH.

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For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Stranger Who Came To Live With Us

(Note: I started with an old short story that has been around for decades [author unknown], and totally re-wrote it for my blog.)


By Ken Raggio

A few months after I was born, my parents heard of a stranger who had just come to town. They heard lots of fascinating stories about him. He was the talk of the town.

One day, someone introduced him to my parents, and they invited him to come to our home. All of us quickly fell in love with him and, believe it or not, they invited him to come live with us permanently. Instantly, he became a huge part of all our lives.

Since he was already living with us when I started growing up, I never questioned his place in our home, or in our family.

We were Church-going people. We read our Bibles, and prayed about important things. We believed in obeying and living by the Word of God. We believed that the Bible should define all our values and beliefs.

But the stranger was a big storyteller. He never ran out of stories to tell. Every day, he had something new. Adventure stories. Mysteries. Comedy. Old cowboy stories. Romance stories. You name it, he had a story for everything.

We spent hours, almost every evening, listening spellbound to the stranger as he told us his stories. As our family grew, the stranger became an intimate friend to us all. We actually listened to him a lot more than we listened to each other. As long as he was in the room, we almost never talked to each other.

He took us to our first major league baseball game. He took us to almost every movie that came out of Hollywood. He introduced us to all the famous movie stars, all the celebrity singers and dancers. Thanks to the stranger, we learned about so many people and things that we would never have known without him. People that we really didn't need to know.

He was an incessant talker. Sometimes, Daddy or Mother would get tired of listening to his stories, and leave the room, while us kids just sat there and continued listening, all the way till bedtime. Then we begged them to let us stay up late so we could hear some more stories.

I wondered if they ever regretted letting him move in with us. I think we probably would have had a lot more time with each other if he hadn't been around. I feel sure that we would have read the Bible and prayed and talked a lot more about good and Godly things if he hadn't been there.

The really bad thing about the stranger is that he never had the same values that my family did. Daddy and Mother were both God-fearing, Bible-reading, Church-going people. They both ruled our household with certain moral convictions.

But this stranger never showed any respect to our values whatsoever. For example, I never heard my parents use one word of profanity. Bad words were just not allowed in our house. And they would not allow us to make friends with people who talked like that.

But our longtime visitor gradually started using bad language. At first, it was pretty rare - just an occasional four-letter word. But it burned our ears and made us all squirm. Every now and then, they would make him shut up, but as time passed, he became bolder and bolder to say things and talk about things that were really taboo - things that none of us would have been allowed to discuss. His language got worse and worse and worse.

All our family and friends were teetotalers. We did not approve of or allow alcoholic drinks EVER in our household. But the stranger did everything he could to show us that drinking was cool. Almost every day, he would tell us stories about people drinking, and smoking, doing drugs, gambling, and committing crimes, and doing immoral things. And almost every time, he made it look like there was nothing wrong with it. He made it look like all those things were perfectly normal for everybody.

He tried to persuade us to buy beer, cigarettes, and do all kinds of things that we didn't believe in. He made a hard sell, too. He always made them look like we would really enjoy them, and that we would be more popular and fit into the crowd.

And then there was the subject of sex. Our family NEVER discussed sex, but the stranger talked about it all the time. He talked way too freely about it. It was embarrassing. Sometimes, his comments were so blatant and offensive that every one of us blushed, but nobody told him to shut up. He just kept talking, and we just kept on listening. A whole lot of my earliest ideas about love and sex came from him.

Unfortunately, everything he taught us was EXACTLY the opposite of what we were told at Church, and what we read in the Bible. If we hadn't gone to Church and read the Bible, the stranger would have made us completely different kind of people than we were.

As I look back, I know that it was a miracle from God that the stranger did not influence us more than he did. I know that it was because we always heard strong preaching at Church that refuted all the stranger's values. But I have no doubt that our minds were still affected negatively by his relentless arguments.

It did not make any sense for us to allow him to continue living in our house, but he did. He was rarely rebuked, and was never asked to leave. I am sure that he made me think and believe a lot of things that I would never have accepted if he had not been there day-in and day-out.

A lifetime has passed since the stranger moved in with our young family. He is much older, and his stories by now have been told all over the world. Everybody knows him by name.

The worst part is that the stranger has turned into a really dirty old man. His mouth is so foul, nowadays. He never stops using the most obscene, profane language. And he never stops talking about sex, and violence, and immoral things. It is appalling and horrifying.

Hour after hour, he just rants and raves and spouts off all his filthy talk. He constantly shows pictures of things we shouldn't even be looking at. Even his rants about politics and religion are hateful, irrational, and intolerable. Every day, he fills the ears of his listeners with all kinds of downright lies. He really sounds like he works for a tyrannical dictator.

And now, he argues non-stop that we should approve things like homosexuality, and drugs, and all kinds of immorality and perversions. He spends an awful lot of time trying to convince us that there is no God. I've come to believe that he is actually working for the devil himself.

The last time I heard him on a rant, I was utterly shocked. He made me feel completely vile. I decided that I simply do not want to listen to his garbage any more. I made up my mind that from now on, I am treating him like the enemy that he really is.

Oh, I never mentioned his name. We just called him "T.V."

(And before you ask - I do not own a television.)
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jesus taught that the Rapture follows the Great Tribulation

The Chronology of Jesus' Prophecy Lesson in Matthew 24:15-31

(In the Middle of the Seven Years called "Daniel's Seventieth Week).

[15] When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) [16] Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:


[21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.


[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

For more information,
When Will The "Rapture" Take Place?

For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

WHY you should ONLY use the KING JAMES VERSION Bible

I have longed to write my own article about why you should only use the KJV Bible, but alas, I have never yet found the time. However, I just came upon this article, written by a Lutheran minister, that provides what I believe is all the reasons you need to know to forever reject ALL the alternate versions of the Bible.

Here is his article:

by Pastor Tobin Pederson from orthodoxlutheran.org

When it comes to the various Bible versions of our modern day, most readers assume that all Bibles are created equal, with perhaps differing degrees of readability. By the same token, most have rid themselves of the "ancient" King James Version and upgraded for a newer model, such as the NIV, or NASB, etc.

When the modern Bible reader is asked if they are familiar with the two Textual Bible Critics, Westcott and Hort, most have never heard of them. They are not aware nor concerned that almost all the modern Bible versions of our day are built upon the Greek Text of Westcott and Hort, commonly called the Westcott-Hort text.

In my own NIV Student Bible (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids Michigan, Copyright 1986, 1992), there is no mention of Westcott and Hort, but a mere reference to "textual criticism." “Where existing manuscripts differ, the translators made their choice of readings according to accepted principles of New Testament textual criticism.” Though these quotations say nothing of Westcott and Hort, they are hidden behind the words “accepted principles of textual criticism“.

Textual Criticism

To understand Westcott and Hort, you must first understand textual criticism. This requires us to reach back in history to the days of the apostles, when the New Testament was written in the original Greek language - sometime between 33-100 AD. Since the original books of the Bible do not exist anymore, it becomes necessary to translate the Bible from copies of the original.

The word MANUSCRIPTS is used to describe these copies or parchments which still exist. There are over 5366 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Not one of these manuscripts is exactly the same in Greek content. However the majority of these manuscripts agree with each other almost perfectly. Translators of the Bible over the years have used these agreeing manuscripts to make what is called the MAJORITY TEXT. Other names for the Majority Text are Traditional Text, Syrian Text, Byzantine Text, and the Common Text. This Majority Text was made from more than five thousand (5000+) manuscripts. It is sometimes called the Textus Receptus. Since 99.9% of these manuscripts agree, we can be comforted knowing that God has preserved His Word among us. You could say that “Over five thousand witnesses agree, this New Testament is God’s holy Word”. Not only do we have 5000+ manuscripts which are nearly identical, but the Lord Himself promises us through His Word to preserve His Scriptures for the sake of mankind.

In Matthew 24:35, Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My words shall not pass away." Isaiah 40:8 says, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand forever." See also Is. 30:8, 59:21, I Pet 1:23. The point here is simple. God has promised to preserve His Word among us, and God always keeps His promises! Likewise we dare never put confidence in man. "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." Ps. 118:8

Putting our confidence in God and not man, it seems apparent our Lord has kept His promise and that His Word is faithfully preserved in over 5000 witnesses! Now we have said that 99.9% of those 5000+ manuscripts agree with each other almost perfectly, but what about the other .1%??? These are commonly called the MINORITY TEXTS, but they are also known to many as the corrupted manuscripts. For much unlike the 5000+, these five manuscripts are radically different. They do not even agree with each other. Their names are as follows:

Codex Vatican (B)
Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph)
Codex Alexandrian (A)
Codex Ephraemi (C)
Codex Bezae (D)

If we are to understand the foundation of the NIV, it is critical to understand that the NIV is translated from these five manuscripts above which do not agree with one another. But what does this mean and is it important? Take, for example, five men who are eye witnesses to a crime. In the court room they tell it to the judge as it is, yet when the judge hears each of their stories, the witnesses do not agree. The judge then listens to the other side which holds over 5000 witnesses. These 5000 agree perfectly as to what happened. So here is the dilemma when it comes to the "witness" of the Greek manuscripts. Do we listen to the 5000+ witnesses, or do we listen to the 5? Which group do you think would be more trustworthy?

At this point we have entered the realm of “textual criticism”. A textual critic is one who picks and chooses what part of whose story they will believe to be true. They make themselves the judge. For example, the witness “Codex Vatican B” (one of the five), a Greek manuscript of the New Testament, testifies that the last 12 verses of Mark do not exist. In other words, the manuscript “Codex Vatican B” does not contain Mark 16:9-20. Now take your Bibles and look at Mark 16:9-20. If you have a King James Bible you see it is about the resurrected Christ,....quite an important part of Scripture. The King James men used the Majority text (5000+) and simply translated it as is. But if you have a NIV Bible, between verses 8 and 9 there is a line and a large space along with this caption in brackets:

[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20] After this bracket in the NIV they then list verses 9-20 (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids Michigan, Copyright 1986, 1992, pg 1104).

For the reader of the NIV this note in brackets must at least cause doubt to enter one's mind as to the authenticity of these verses. They might argue, "My Bible says the “earliest” manuscripts do not have this verse!" But does this reader know of the thousands of other manuscripts which do contain this verse? The one who writes “the earliest manuscripts...” is the man we call a textual critic. He picks and chooses what belongs in the Bible and what doesn’t, based upon his education, beliefs, and ideals. His method of picking and choosing which verses belong and which verses don't, is called the eclectic method. The Westcott-Hort text is an eclectic text. They are the judges as to what belongs in the Bible and what does not.

The whole problem with textual criticism is that man becomes the judge of what belongs in the Bible and what doesn’t. A textual critic sets himself up as judge over God’s Word, when no man has such a right. The Scriptures are not to be privately interpreted. The Bible teaches “No Scripture is of private interpretation”. No mere mortal dare add to, or subtract from God’s Word (the last chapter in Revelation teaches this).

Textual criticism is flawed because man’s judgment is by nature flawed with bias. It is comparable to a judge with a criminal past, making a judgment based upon the witness of five liars, and at the same time ignoring the unified witness of over 5000 men. Can his verdict be true? We know the verdict and outcome before the trial is over. So our modern Bibles today have been translated by men who make themselves judges. Instead of simply translating what the majority of witnesses agree to, they translate from their own fancy, the false witness of the five.

In like manner, if a scientist is also an evolutionist and atheist, do we need to hear his science before we know his verdict? Assuredly his verdict will be against the six literal days of creation. Westcott and Hort were the original textual critics of their day. Though they no longer live, their legacy lives on in the form of a corrupted Greek text.

The influence of their methods blackens and corrupts every modern translation of the Bible available (NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, REB, RSV, CEV, TEV, GNB, LIVING, PHILLIPS, NEW JERUSALEM, NEW CENTURY, and the New Word Translation). Readers of these new Bibles are quite unaware that they are reading the translation of a corrupt text. Without thinking or looking deeper into the matter, they blindly assume that every Bible is the same. They assume some are just more easy to read than others. But we must remember that Bibles are translated by men, and thus corruption is possible.

Westcott and Hort did what was unthinkable.....they picked through five Greek texts which did not agree with each other, and came up with a new revised Greek version of the Bible. All modern Bibles of the day have therefore not been translated from the 5000+ Majority text, but from the 5 disagreeing witnesses. Which Bible do you think is more reliable? Isn't it better to trust that God preserved His Word in the 5000+ witnesses rather than the five witnesses who do not agree with each other? The KJV is a straight translation from the Majority text. The NIV (and others) is taken from the five Minority texts, which do not agree. We don't even know what part of which text they used and where! The consensus however is they favored the Aleph and B text more than the others.

The Men Who Made Themselves Judges

And what do we know about these men who made themselves the judges over God's holy Word? Much has been written about them, but also their own recorded words shed light on their beliefs.

The following is information is take from two sources, G.A. Riplinger's New Age Bible Versions, and Mr. Joseph Van Beek's tract, KJV vs NIV.

“In 1841 an old manuscript (Codex Vaticanus) was discovered lying on a shelf in the Vatican library. In 1844 part of another old manuscript (Codex Sinaiticus) was found in a wastebasket in St. Catherines’s monastery (the other part was found in 1859). It is generally believed that these were from the 50 that Eusebius prepared for Constantine.

In 1853 these two Cambridge professors, Westcott and Hort, began to prepare a Greek Text based primarily on the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts. They passed by the Traditional Text (Textus Receptus) which was the text upon which the King James Version is based. Instead they used the corrupted manuscripts of the Gnosticism-Origen-Eusebius- Jerome-Augustine lineage." (Joseph Van Beek‘s tract: KJV vs NIV, pgs 5&6)

As to the personal beliefs of Westcott and Hort:

1)      They never claimed or testified that the Bible was verbally inspired or inerrant.
2)      They denied the Genesis account of creation and questioned whether Eden ever existed......Instead they praised Darwin’s 1859 theory of evolution.
3)      Hort wrote, “The popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit. Certainly nothing could be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ’s bearing our sins and sufferings to his death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy.”
4)      Hort wrote, “I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and Jesus worship have very much in common in their causes and their results.”
5)      Westcott found a statue of Mary and a crucified Christ in a remote chapel and wrote, “Had I been alone, I could have knelt there for hours.”

Please note that neither Westcott nor Hort believed that the Bible was God’s Word. Hort did not believe in the complete blood atonement of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, calling such doctrine "heresy". Both found nothing wrong with the worship of Mary.

The following are quotes of Westcott and Hort, found in Riplinger’s book.

Westcott - “I reject the word infallibility of Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly.” Riplinger, pg 622

Hort - “Evangelicals seem to me perverted. . . There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, especially the authority of the Bible.” Riplinger, pg 621

Hort - “This may be cowardice - I have sort of a craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text issued by men who are already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy will have great difficulty in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms. (Hort’s letter to Westcott regarding their writing other things.)” Riplinger, pg 623

Westcott - “I shall aim at what is transcendental in many people’s eyes... I suppose I am a communist by nature.” Riplinger, pg 624

Westcott - “our Bible as well as our Faith is a mere compromise.” Riplinger, pg 625

Westcott and Hort were spiritualists. They sought out contact with the spiritual world (talking with the dead, etc.). Riplinger speaks much on this subject and also aligns them with the New Age movement. They started the “Ghostly Guild” in 1851 and before that the “Hermes Club” in 1845. Riplinger links the spiritualist teachings of Westcott and Hort to the occult teachings of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky who wrote the Lucifer magazine. Westcott, Hort, and Blavatsky are all forerunners of the modern day New Age movement which aims at one world religion.


The conclusion is obvious. Any modern translation that is based upon Westcott and Hort's Greek text cannot be trusted, for it is based upon five manuscripts which do not even agree with one other.

The KJV, on the other hand, is based upon the Majority text, over 5000 witnesses agreeing. This is to say nothing of the hundreds of church fathers who quoted their Scriptures in sermons, writings, etc., which also testify to the standard of the Majority text.

Even the casual reader of the Bible, if he were to compare a modern translation (NIV) with the KJV, will easily find numerous differences between the two (Consider Revelation 1:11, Heb. 2:16, Col. 2:9). Even a brief comparison of passages between the NIV and KJV will yield useful information.

Therefore it is unwise for the sincere Christian to readily accept modern Bible translations assuming them to be accurate and faithful to the Word of God. They are anything but. To learn more about Bible versions and the many problems with modern translations, consider the following:

David Otis Fuller, D. D. Which Bible Grand Rapids International Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49501
David Otis Fuller, D. D. Counterfeit Or Genuine Mark 16? John 8? Grand Rapids International Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49501
Pastor R. W. Shekner, Comparisons, Anchor Publications (anchorbooksandtracts.com)
Taylor and Young, Distorted Scripture, Anchor Publications (anchorbooksandtracts.com)
G. A. Riplinger New Age Bible Versions A V Publications, Box 388 Munroe Falls, Ohio, 44262 1-800-435-4535.

It should also be noted that the writings of John W. Burgon, Edward Hills, Benjamin C. Wilkinson will be greatly edifying. May God enlighten us all to the truth through His Word. Thanks be to Him that His Word is faithfully preserved in the accurate translation of the King James Version.

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev 22:18,19

In Christ Jesus our Lord,
Pastor Tobin Pederson, Reformation Day, October 31, 2007
SEE MY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS on my blog at this link:

For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Consuming Fire Of God

God Is A Consuming Fire
On the Day of Pentecost, as 120 of Jesus' disciples prayed and waited for the "promise of the Father," according to Jesus' instructions,

"There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of FIRE, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance," Acts 2:3-4.

Before I comment on what exactly happened in the Upper Room, I want to quickly remind you how important FIRE was throughout the Old Testament.

The first instance of FIRE in the Bible occurred in the story of Adam and Eve.

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and A FLAMING SWORD which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," Genesis 3:24.

So God protected the way of the Tree of Life with a FLAMING SWORD. We can understand that the flaming sword is a symbol of the Spirit-anointed Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

Eternal life is guarded and protected by the anointed (fiery) Word of God.

The second time FIRE occurs in the Bible is in the story of Noah. 

The word FIRE does not occur in that story, but "Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and OFFERED BURNT OFFERINGS on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake,"  Genesis 8:20-21. So Noah set the sacrifice on the altar, and burned it up. He set fire on it until it was consumed.

So this SECOND lesson teaches us that FIRE CONSUMES SACRIFICE.  

The THIRD occurrence of fire is in the story of God's fiery judgment on the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).

God destroyed a wicked community by FIRE, because of its nauseous sins.

The FOURTH instance of FIRE in the Bible was the FIRE that Abraham took with him to Mount Moriah in preparation to offer his son, Isaac, to the Lord.

You will remember that God did not ultimately require Abraham to slay Isaac, but instead, provided a ram caught in a nearby bush. Abraham "went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son," Genesis 22:13. Abraham set fire to the sacrificial ram, and burned it up.

The FIFTH instance of FIRE in the Bible is in the Burning Bush.

"The angel of the LORD appeared unto [Moses] in A FLAME OF FIRE out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed," Exodus 3:2.

Of course there are hundreds of other references in the Bible to fire, but we can see the precedents already, just in these first five stories.

I am going to make a QUICK ANALYSIS of this. I won't belabor the point.
  • God PURIFIES with fire. 
  • He BURNS up things that He does not want or need. 
  • He CONSUMES sacrifices. 
  • He MANIFESTS His glory in fire.

So when the Holy Ghost fell on the Day of Pentecost, it fell on 120 people who had been in prayer and fasting for seven days. Jesus had told them not to leave Jerusalem before they received power from on high (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).

The outpouring of the Holy Ghost was accompanied by the physical sign of fire. Now, since that time, it is rare to visibly SEE the fire when the Holy Ghost comes, but make no mistake about it - the Holy Ghost is the fire of God.

The FIRE OF GOD consumes flesh. It consumes sin. It consumes worldliness. It consumes carnality. It consumes things that offend God.

The FIRE OF GOD purifies. It protects and preserves the holiness of God.


Almost every book in the Bible mentions the fire of God's judgment in one way or another. One of the most recurrent prophecies is that God will judge the earth by fire shortly before Jesus establishes His earthly kingdom at Armageddon.

Malachi 4:1-3 - “The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, ...the wicked ...shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." 

Here is my conclusion:

Almighty God has made it abundantly clear that every one of us needs to be baptized in the fire of the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist introduced Jesus to his generation saying, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire," Matthew 3:11.

I could write a book on this subject, but instead, I must make this very brief, so I beg you not to miss the point.

If you have never been baptized in the Holy Ghost, (which is always accompanied by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance), you have not been baptized in THE CONSUMING FIRE OF GOD.

The outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the 120 in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost was a consuming of the fleshly wills and ways of the believers, and was an endowment of the supernatural power of God. The baptism of the Holy Ghost set them on fire to do the will of God, and to burn up the vain, futile, worthless works of the flesh. 

The baptism of the Holy Ghost will consume your flesh, your carnality, your pride, ego, selfishness, etc., etc. As you walk daily in the Spirit, led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit, God will continually purge you from dead works.

The Holy Ghost baptism is a life-long purification process.

The Holy Ghost will burn up the dross (as the dross on silver in a refiner's fire). The Holy Ghost will convict and convince you of sin. The Holy Ghost will cause you to separate yourself from worldly, carnal, sinful ways. The Holy Ghost will draw you away from worldly, carnal, sinful people, to a life of holiness, godliness, righteousness and Truth. And the Holy Ghost will endue you with supernatural, miraculous power - the presence and power of Jesus Christ. Having been baptized in the Holy Ghost, you will become an ongoing witness to the mighty works of God - signs, wonders, and miracles that are rarely seen or believed in by those who have never received the Holy Ghost.

If you are not in an Apostolic Pentecostal Church where this Holy Ghost baptism is preached and practiced, you are in the wrong Church. Find a Holy Ghost-filled Church immediately, and be filled with the Spirit, in Jesus' name.

Oh, I could say so much! But I will leave you with these few thoughts.

Selah. Think on them!

If you need more explanation, see this article:
Is Speaking In Tongues Necessary?

- - -

For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm Stuck In A Mold

I am stuck in a mold. After 61 years, I'm just about finished. This is what I am and this is what I will always be. What you see is what you get.

The Bible is my mold.

For decades now, God's Word has been forming me. By now, most of my form has been with me for a long, long time. Most of what I am right now is never going to change, because the Bible formed me that way, and the Bible is never going to change.

I decided long ago to believe the Bible at any cost. I have studied it from cover to cover, and weighed it, and analyzed it.I have prayed over it, fasted over it, and made every kind of consecration to God that I know how to make.

If I am wrong about my core beliefs now, then I will be wrong when I die, because this is what I will believe until death finishes me off.

I've spent literally tens of thousands of hours in the Bible in my lifetime, searching diligently from cover to cover, making absolutely, positively sure that what I believe is what the Bible says. And believe me when I tell you, I have been tried in the fire over these beliefs. I have been tormented and tortured by those who say I'm wrong. If I could have been talked out of them, I would have been by now.

I have had heart-rending "reasons" to compromise or abandon my convictions. So many times, contrary voices have compelled me to change - but I just cannot. I must not. I will not.

Because I have a major Internet presence, I have a constant, never-ending, stream of letters coming by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, my website, blog, YouTube, Amazon, Kindle, and other places challenging me on just about everything I stand for. I don't just mean dozens, or even hundreds of letters. I am talking thousands of letters. Tens of thousands of letters in the past seven years. At this point, I answer people's Bible questions literally day and night. I have been challenged on every doctrine, standard, and teaching that I stand for. There is always somebody trying to change my mind or prove me wrong about what I believe.

But I am stuck in a mold. The Bible is my mold, and I'm stuck in it.

I am a Oneness, Apostolic, Pentecostal, Holiness Christian, and that is what I will be until I die. I am not doubtful about what I believe. I know that if this is not the Truth, there is no Truth.

I'm not just convinced. I am totally convinced. I am absolutely, positively convinced that the Early Church was Oneness, Apostolic, Baptized in Jesus' name, tongue-talking Holy Ghost baptized, Godly, holy-living, called-out, and different from the world.

If the New Testament Church is not Oneness, Jesus' name, Holy Ghost filled, tongue-talking, holy living, separate from the world, then there is no New Testament Church.

All those doctrines are in the Bible, and whether or not anybody believes them is not my problem. I have tried to espouse them to the whole wide world.

It is up to each person to TAKE IT or LEAVE IT. Some are TAKERS. Most are LEAVERS.

I'm a taker. I will take this Apostolic, Pentecostal, Holiness life over anything and everything else I see in the universe. And anyone who thinks I'm crazy can just keep on thinking I'm crazy, because my mind is made up.

I am not for sale. You couldn't afford me if I was. The price I have paid to get where I am today is more than most people would pay anyway. That's one of the reasons why so many won't follow.

Jesus told us to leave the world behind and follow him. That is the biggest obstacle to many people today. They are so attached to the things of the world, they just simply cannot and will not give it up.

I can't say that I am never enticed by the world. I am not telling you that the world has never had any allure to me. I am a human just like everybody else. Those things test and try me just like they do you.

But every time I stop and think, and weigh it out, I remember that the world is fleeting and perishing, but God is real, Hell is hot, and Heaven is eternal. That's how and why I keep coming back to what I believe.

I'm stuck in a mold.

For thousands of pages of FREE Bible Studies on every subject, including PROPHECIES about the last days, visit kenraggio.com now!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to Preach without Converting Anybody

I VERY RARELY publish any articles by any other authors on my websites, so this is a major exception to my own rule. Charles G. Finney was a central figure in the "Second Great Awakening" that occurred in the United States in the general period of 1790 - 1840. I cannot and do not vouch for all of Finney's theology, but THIS article was a powerful rebuttal to some of the Calvinistic, easy-believism, hyper-grace, eternal security, Old-line Presbyterianism that had been so pervasive up to his time. 

The reason I am publishing it is because we are presently facing an enormous resurgence of the very kind of preaching that Finney rebukes here. It is reaching a fever pitch, a boiling point. Finney says several things here that I just could not have said any better myself. That is why I offer it to you for your thoughtful consideration. THANKS! Ken Raggio


by Charles G. Finney

Preach on every doctrine that centers the attention on man rather than Jesus. Teach every doctrine that makes man the center of God's attention rather than God the center of man's devotion. Tell people only what God will do for them.

Avoid preaching about the necessity of a radical change of heart, through the truth revealed to the heart by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Let your supreme motive to be popular with all people, then, of course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to convert souls to Christ.

Avoid preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal mind, so that no one should say to you, as they did of Christ, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?"

Make no distinct points, and do not disturb the consciences of your hearers so that they may become truly alarmed about their souls.

Avoid all illustrations, repetitions, and expressive sentences that may compel people to remember what you say.

Avoid all heat and enthusiasm in your delivery, so that you never make the impression that you really believe what you say.

Make appeals to the emotions, and not the conscience, of your hearers.

Be careful not to testify from your own personal experience of the power of the gospel, so that you never should produce the conviction upon your hearers that you have something which they need.

Do not stir up uncomfortable memories by reminding your hearers of their past sins.

Denounce sin in a general way, but make no reference to the specific sins of your present audience.

Do not make the impression that God commands your listeners here and now to obey the truth. Do not let them think that you expect them to commit themselves right on the spot to give their hearts to God.

Give the impression that they are expected to go away in their sins, and to consider the matter at later time of their convenience.

Preach salvation by grace; but ignore the condemned and lost condition of the sinner so that he never should understand what you mean by grace, and know his need of it.

Preach the gospel as a remedy or a cure, but conceal or ignore the fatal disease of the sinner.

Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law (by which comes the knowledge of sin), so that the sinner never should see his lost condition and repent.

Make no appeals to the fears of sinners; but give them the impression that they have no reason to fear.

Preach Christ as an infinitely friendly and good-natured being. Ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and hypocrites which so often made His hearers tremble.

Do not rebuke the worldly tendencies of the church, so that you should never hurt their feelings, and finally convert some of them.

Admit, either obviously or casually, that all men have some moral goodness in them; so that sinners should never understand that they need a radical change of heart, from sin to holiness.

Say so little of Hell that your people will think that you do not believe in its existence yourself.

Make the impression that, if God is as good as you are, He could not send anyone to Hell.

Make no disagreeable reference to the teachings of self-denial, cross-bearing, and crucifixion to the world, so that you should never convict and convert some of your church members.

Do not rebuke extravagance in dress, so that you should never make an uncomfortable impression on your vain and worldly church members.

Encourage lots of church socials, and attend them yourself.

Aim to make your hearers pleased with themselves and pleased with you, and be careful especially not to wound the feelings of anyone.

Make sure you avoid preaching to those who are present. Preach about sinners, but not to them. Say "they," and not "you," so that anyone should never take your subject personally, and apply it to their own life, Securing the salvation of their soul.

Preach that the new birth is something God deposits in people, not a fundamental change in the ultimate purpose of our lives.

Never tell people that they must cease from serving self and serve God and do His will.

Never tell them that repentance is man's ability and responsibility to turn from his sin to God! Teach them to delay turning away from all known sin toward God.

Preach predestination in such away that results in fatalism and apathy on the part of all people. Make each person believe that God has already determined who shall be saved, and nothing can change His will. You never want anyone to think that their actions can make any difference.

Preach that man is totally unable to obey God. Teach him that no one can turn to God, but he must wait upon God to turn (change) him. Make sure that no one realizes his true responsibility requiring him to repent in order to be saved. You never want anyone to know that man can turn from sin to God but the real problem is that he will not!

Preach that every one is born a sinner and a criminal. Teach that every baby is born guilty before God. You never want anyone to consider the fact that man is born morally innocent. You do not want anyone to know that he becomes a sinner because, in his rebellion, he has refused to love God with all his heart according to the light and has selfishly sought his own happiness above all else.

Preach that a person can be saved without making Jesus his lord.

Teach that holiness is just an option and not a requirement of the gospel. Teach them that they can be Christian without becoming true disciples.

Preach eternal security in such away that requires no perseverance in faith or continuance in holiness on the part of the believer. Make every person think he has his ticket to heaven that is all paid for so that he will always safely scoff at all calls for repentance and righteous.

Teach Christians that sin is a normal and natural part of their every day life and that they can never truly expect to ever overcome sin through the power of Christ.

Preach that no Christian needs to do anything. Teach them that they are safe and heaven bound even if their lives are disobedient and rebellious.


Note from Ken Raggio: We absolutely MUST work diligently to countermand the hyper-grace, easy-believism, "God doesn't see your sins; all your future sins are already forgiven," LIES that are being shoved down this generation's throats. We must preach against sin, for repentance, and for making consistent choices in favor of Truth, Righteousness and Holiness.

Finney was not very popular with the Calvinist crowd of his day, and I don't expect to become very popular with that crowd either. I have already felt the blows of "FALSE PROPHET!" accusations. But Truth is Truth, and God's Word says to BUY IT, and don't sell it.

I am a Oneness, Jesus' Name, Apostolic, Acts 2:38, Pentecostal, Holiness preacher and believer. I believe in striving for perfection. That is the New Testament way.

Thanks for your time. God bless you.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

I Am A Soldier in the Army of the LORD

Allied soldiers storming the beach at Normandy on D-Day, WWII
I am a SOLDIER in the ARMY of the LORD.

Jesus said, "Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves," Luke 10:3. Lambs among wolves? That speaks of the most hostile environment - an environment of blood-thirsty enemies.

"He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me," Luke 10:16. DESPISED. He warned us that we would face those who would despise us, and reminded us that the REASON they will despise US, is that they despise GOD! God's enemies will become our enemies.

Make no mistake about it. This is war. This is Heaven against Hell. This is all that is GOOD against all that is EVIL. This is no game, no party, no recreation room. This is war.

Herod tried to destroy Jesus Christ as soon as He was born (Matthew 2:13). He killed an entire town-full of innocent babies. That is how diabolical and heartless this war is. DON'T THINK that Satan is LESS diabolical or heartless today. He is not.

In the days of His ministry on earth, Jesus repeatedly faced attempts to destroy Him.

"The Pharisees went fort, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might DESTROY him," Mark 3:6.

 "The Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might DESTROY him," Matthew 12:14.

"He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to DESTROY him," Luke 19:47.

"The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and DESTROY Jesus," Matthew 27:20.

Jesus knew what He was up against. He said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to DESTROY: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly," John 10:10.

He forewarned us, "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved," Matthew 10:22.

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake," Matthew 24:9.

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you," John 15:18-19.

John knew why Jesus came to earth in the first place, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL," 1 John 3:8.

Jesus came to seek and save those who were lost, but He also came to destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the Destroyer
His Soldiers are SENT to destroy the works of the Destroyer

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you," Luke 10:19

"These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they CAST OUT DEVILS; they shall speak with new tongues," Mark 16:17.

If you are a true Christian, you WILL face adversaries. Hell has a target on you. You will be attacked. When you took God's side, you inherited all His enemies. But that's all right, because it is the nature of the Spirit-led life. This IS spiritual warfare. Don't ever forget it.

Winston Churchill once said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Every saint of God who ever lived has faced great tribulation in his day. Expect it. Deal with it.

Hell sets traps for God's people. If you live long enough, you will be caught in one. But God delivers His people, even from the jaws of death. Remember Calvary.

"If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God," Acts 5:39.

"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect," Hebrews 11:32-40.

Here is the end of the matter: Jesus is coming. He will both destroy all His adversaries in that day, AND reward all those who have fought in His Army.

"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth," Revelation 11:18.

THEREFORE, Saint of God...

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses," 1 Timothy 6:12.

"Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier," 2 Timothy 2:3-4.

I'm a soldier in the Army,
And I'm marching, claiming victory.
I will not give up. I will not turn around.
I'm a soldier, marching Heaven bound.

Go. Fight. Win. In Jesus' name.

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