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?

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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!

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.

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