To Live is Christ

by Mike Ratliff

21 Ἐμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος. Philippians 1:21 (NA28)

21 For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 translated from the NA28 Greek text 

As we have been seeing over the past several months (or is it years?) as we have dug deeper and deeper into the persons of the Holy Trinity, the doctrines of the Church, which is the Body of Christ himself, hasn’t it also been true how in our drawing closer and closer to God that in this that the disingenuousness of the man-centered elements of the visible church becomes more and more exposed to those with eyes of genuine saving faith? On the other hand, those with their self-focused, self-edifying faith in their in their own self-made religiosity simply continue to go deeper and deeper into their self-made deceptions that are based on a world view as shallow and insipid as post-modernity. Those people actually are guilty of saying that Christianity and the Church as formed by Jesus Christ is wrong and they have a better idea.  Continue reading

Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word

by Mike Ratliff

1 And six days later Jesus *brought with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three booths here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.Matthew 17:1-8 (LSB) 

From what I have observed, and please correct me if I am wrong, it seems that telling a false prophet or false teacher from those who are true is not as difficult as we may think. Those who are true understand and teach the centrality of our Lord Jesus Christ in all things. It really is all about Him and His glory. On the other hand, those who are false will focus nearly all of what they preach and teach from the perspective of Man. Instead of teaching our role in the Kingdom as subjects of God, they expound things for the benefit of what is fair or what seems right to men, making excuses for fleshly indulgences and not calling it sin. They refuse to accept that the Bible teaches that sin is what separates Men from God and those who die in their sin will spend eternity in Hell. Of course these teachings echo the lie that our enemy told Eve in the Garden, “Has God really said?” Continue reading