The Most Frightening Words


by Mike Ratliff

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB) 

Over the years I have had many would be dissenters attempt to thwart the message I have labored long and hard over on this blog. They come in all sorts of directions, but one of the most confusing are those who insist that Jesus taught a totally different “Gospel” than that which Paul the Apostle preached. These same people also insist that they are following Jesus instead Paul. Why they do this is puzzling, but really what is being said by these people is nothing new. There are really only two groups of people. There are those who believe God and those who don’t. When people reject the Gospel they will give all sorts of reasons for doing so, but really it all boils down to the fact that they refuse to bow the knee in total surrender to the Lord of Lords. Continue reading

Valiant For Truth in a Post-Truth World of Chaos


by Mike Ratliff

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 (NASB) 

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:42-47 (NASB) 

When this Covid-19 so-called “pandemic” started I was, and still am, very skeptical of what we were being told by the “authorities” at the C.D.C., the W.H.O. and, of course, the U.S. Government. Is it a real virus? Yes, it is, but I have done my own research on it and authorities that know a lot more about viruses and Immunology than I do have universally said that this virus is man-made. Is it akin to the Black Death or the Spanish Flu in how deadly they are? No, it is not. The recovery rate of those who get infected by it is over 99%. During WWI the death rate of the Spanish Flu was in the millions worldwide. It was caused by the H1N1 virus which spread from animals (probably birds to pigs) then to humans. There have been genuine pandemics throughout history and they have all been deadly until immunity was finally accomplished, which in most cases was through the existing immune systems we all have. So why is this virus being treated so differently? Continue reading

Have mercy upon me, O God!


by Mike Ratliff

1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. Psalms 51:1-2 (NKJV) 

One of the most abhorrent things I encounter in my walk is a professing Christian who believes they are in Christ because they deserve it. These same people will always want us to look at their works. They want us to see them in their religiosity. In the following devotional by Charles Spurgeon he uses William Carey as the example for whom we should be our model of humility. Continue reading

A Rest for the People of God


by Mike Ratliff

7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
9 “When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
10 “For forty years I loathed that generation,
And said they are a people who err in their heart,
And they do not know My ways.
11 “Therefore I swore in My anger,
Truly they shall not enter into My rest.” Psalms 95:7-11 (NASB) 

Those who insist that we are in a ‘post-evangelical era’ and must, therefore, radically alter not only how we do church in order to reach unbelieving people in our time, also insist that this must be accompanied by a toning down of one’s Christian convictions about the truth. We are told that the culture we are in now will not respond to those who are militant, aggressive, preachy, and extremely sure of their convictions. I ask, since when has pragmatism become how the Gospel works? Also, did our Lord ever elevate social justice above the Gospel? Did Jesus preach and teach pragmatically or did what He taught cause a huge division between those who believed and those who didn’t? You know the answer to these questions. He pulled no punches. The reality of His ministry was the epitome of God’s ways not being man’s ways. All we are told to do until our Lord returns is make disciples, teaching them all that He has taught us. In the meantime we are to abide in Christ, love one another, deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus. We are to be the antithesis of world and its ways, not conforming to it in how we minister. Continue reading

A Cake Not Turned


by Mike Ratliff

8 Ephraim mixes himself with the nations;
Ephraim has become a cake not turned. Hosea 7:8 (NASB) 

The Gospel is not something given to us in such a way that gives us the right to edit it. Nor is it our prerogative to change the focus of our local churches from what God intended. Both the Church Growth movement and Wokeism does both. Both of these movements are based on ideologies rooted in pragmatism. These ideologies say that if something produces the desired results then it must be right and, therefore, the will of God. However, there is a major flaw in this because it begins with a false assumption. Continue reading

The Beginning of Birth Pangs


by Mike Ratliff

4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Matthew 24:4-8 (NASB) 

Most Christians I know think of the Church as what they know and experience here in either the United States and/or Canada. However, our Lord Jesus Christ has disciples all over this world. I have friends who have befriended me because of this blog who I will never meet in person until we see each other in Heaven. Why? Some of these dear brethren live in countries where it is illegal to be a Christian. Others live in countries where there are rogue political groups bent on ridding their country of all Christians. I also have Christian friends who live in countries in which most of the visible church there has apostatized. Continue reading

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns


by Mike Ratliff

5 And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Revelation 19:5-6 (NASB)

What a joy it was to meet in our Small Group last night. We ate together. We prayed. We had a Bible Study. We then had prayer requests then prayer time. During our Bible Study we did discuss what we are commanded to do in God’s Word to become mature believers and how those teachings are neglected in many churches. Some came from other churches where there was no emphasis on discipleship. Some of us are more mature than others because we were discipled. At the center of being a branch abiding the vine, who is Christ (John 15), is submitting to Him as Lord not only as we believed and were saved, but also on a daily basis as we walk through this life. We do this as we present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). Then we walk through our days not being conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). So, what happens when we walk through our days this way as we encounter the obstacles placed in the way by our enemy? What about our trials and tribulations we all must deal with? Continue reading

Therefore comfort one another with these words


by Mike Ratliff

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NASB)

Over the past several years especially right after Donald Trump was elected to the U.S. Presidency in November 2016, I became very concerned about the absolute audacity of those who hate the truth in the their attempt to remove all notion that the Christian Worldview was the preferred Sociological way of life in this country. Of course, this falling away began a long time ago it just seemed like those who made the most noise had suddenly come to power and were doing all they could to pass laws to protect the immoral while accusing the law-abiding citizens everywhere of being the real problem. My brethren isn’t it obvious that this country is now under the judgment of God? However, for those of us in Christ things are different. Continue reading

God’s Training Methods


by Martin Luther

3 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. Genesis 45:3 (NASB) 

The emotional climax to Joseph’s story was this sudden revelation to his brothers. They had thought Joseph was a horrible, terrifying tyrant because he had treated them like strangers and scared them to death. Even though he had left them many clues, they couldn’t imagine any kindness hidden under his hostile appearance. But then he came straight to the point. Without using an interpreter, he said, “I am Joseph!” Continue reading

True Transformation


by Mike Ratliff

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NASB) 

2 καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον. Romans 12:2 (NA28)

Truth is not relative. Truth is not found through some synthesis process through which one concept of the truth is ‘synthesized’ with that which opposes it until some sort of compromise can be reached. This is the Hegelian Dialectic process which states that truth is not found in the thesis nor the antithesis, but the synthesis of the two. This synthesis process may take countless evolutions, but the theory is that eventually change will occur and that is the real goal. This is not biblical transformation. It is not what God does in Christians when He transforms them from flesh driven, prideful, self-oriented people to spirit-led, humble, God-focused servants of the Most-High. Continue reading

Into Your hand I commit my spirit


by Mike Ratliff

3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. Psalms 31:3-5 (NASB) 

I doubt that I am alone in experiencing the pressure coming primarily from our enemy about all the evil going on in the world that seems to indicate that “everything is falling apart.” Our President is clueless. Most of the visible church in the U.S. is apostate. Idiots are in positions of power and stupid sheep are following them. If we have our eyes on these things then things can really bring us down. However, is this supposed to be how those of us in Christ are supposed to function? Continue reading

The Mystery of Godliness


by Mike Ratliff

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:14-16 (NASB) 

The best place for Christians to be is at the Cross, before the Savior, in complete agreement with God that without His saving Grace they would be on their way to Hell, and without His sustaining Grace they would lose all ability or desire for His godliness. In fact, Christians are in a great deal of trouble when they think otherwise. Yes, we are commanded to obey God and to seek His Holiness, but we are completely unable to obey Him in the Spirit; neither are we able to seek His Holiness unless He first gives us the Grace to do these things. In fact, if we try to do either in our own abilities, we will fail miserably and find ourselves in an impossible situation of trying to attain favor with God by our own efforts in our own ability. This is a form of legalism, which leads only to frustration and disillusionment.  Continue reading

The Steadfast Love of God


by Mike Ratliff

8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. Psalms 52:8-9 (NASB) 

I am no different than you. What I mean is that I have dreams of having something better in the future or someday becoming a professional photographer, et cetera. I have always wanted that. However, it seems, the more I try, the harder I work at it, the less and less likely it will ever happen. There was a small hope that I could retire soon and have some money coming in from my art/photography that would supplement my retirement. That appears to be nothing more than a pipe dream. Should I get angry? Should I blame myself for being such a lousy photographer? Should I ask God why He isn’t making this happen? If He really loved me shouldn’t He do this for me? Isn’t that sort of theology akin to the Prosperity Gospel which is no gospel at all? You see, that mindset is all wrong. I should be rejoicing that I am forgiven and have eternity with my Lord awaiting. His will for me is always right. Continue reading

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name


by Mike Ratliff

1 Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in holy array. Psalms 29:1-2 (NASB) 

Much of the confusion within the visible church along with watered down versions of the gospel being preached rooted in pragmatism are due to the proponents of such things seeking glory for themselves. A genuine and proper handling of God’s Word and the Gospel will always be done within the context of ascribing all to the Lord for His glory alone. Continue reading