Are you working to please God?


by Mike Ratliff

28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28 NASB)

The flesh is still with us all, even those who have been born again unto eternal life. The flesh does not understand grace. The flesh does not understand the relationship to the Christian being born again unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, the visible church is ripe with false teaching at this time that emphasizes all the wrong things, and, coupled with rampant Biblical illiteracy, most professing Christians are like those Jesus was confronting in John 6 who could not conceive what our Lord boldly told them in vv35-40 that belief and salvation was a gift from God not something earned or deserved.  Continue reading

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword


by Mike Ratliff

34 “ Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set A man against his father, and A daughter against her mother, and A daughter- in- law against her mother- in- law; 36 and A man’s enemies will be the members of his household. (Matthew 10:34-36 NASB)

The number one accusation against those who proclaim the truth from God’s Word in the face of apostasy is that they are being divisive. I believe we should seek to have peace with all men, but we must be prepared to encounter conflict with those who refuse to submit to God’s truth. We are never called to be at peace with false teachers or false prophets or apostates. From Jesus’ own teachings we learn that the cost of being His disciple is very high. Grace is free, but becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ costs us everything. We are told that no one is worthy of the Kingdom of God who is in love with this world. We cannot serve God correctly if we love our own life more than Him. We cannot love our families more than Him. We cannot love possessions more than Him. We are called to be the interim or peacemaker between those whom we love and God. We are to be the one God uses to bring them into the Kingdom. However, we are also called to not waiver and turn our backs on God and His ways because pressure is put on us to compromise our walk with God for the sake of peace. Continue reading

For many are called, but few are chosen


by Mike Ratliff

11 The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:11-14 NASB)

There are three attributes of those who belong to Christ. No one else has these attributes. We see them in Revelation 17:14. Those with Christ, the Lamb who will conquer all His enemies for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, are called and chosen and faithful. In Matthew 22:1-14, our Lord tells a parable called “The Parable of the Wedding Feast.” In it our Lord describes the consequences that will befall those who believe their religiosity or position in the visible church is what earns them a place in the Kingdom, but who, in reality, are not among the chosen.  Continue reading

Prayer Needed


I received the following email from my brother-in-law this morning.

10/09/14 Thursday 6:39 P.M.

Prayer Request from Dan and Marilyn Wilson Missionaries who are in the areas that are being attacked by ISIS are asking to be showered in prayer. ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries are on their own. They are determined to stick it out for the sake of the families – even if it means their own deaths. They are very afraid, have no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have had seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called them for some reason to be His voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, they are begging for prayers for courage to live out their vocation in such dire circumstances. And like the children, accept martyrdom if they are called to do so. These brave parents instilled such a fervent faith in their children that they chose martyrdom. Please surround them in their loss with your prayers for hope and perseverance. Continue reading

Personal Holiness


by Mike Ratliff

Beth. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. 16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.  (Psalms 119:9-16 NASB)

The concept that God would somehow be satisfied with those who call themselves Christians, but who live their lives totally apart from Him, should be very strange to believers. The idea that the Lord is only after converts who say a quick sinner’s prayer, but never really change must really insult Him. Look at the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on the cross. How could anyone really think He went through all that to accomplish only the possibility of salvation for all people or, even worse, automatically save all people including those who continue to live reprobate lives after hearing the gospel? Those who believe either of those are deluding themselves. Of course, their hearts are not being led by the Spirit and they are suffering from a severe case of hardheartedness. God’s values are not apparent to their hearts so they live the way they want. Many of them compartmentalize their lives to the point they give God those couple of hours on some Sunday mornings, but the rest of their time is theirs. Continue reading

Todd Friel-13 Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions


the expositor

Source-Symphony of Scripture

I love Todd Friel. The Way of the Master co-host is a great guy, a very faithful preacher of the Gospel, and a dear brother in Christ. I have had the honor of having Todd on our radio program and shared several conversations with him as well, and he is as true as they come. In this piece, he shares 13 Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions, and he is dead on!

Churches divide over carpet color, building additions and budgets. In the meantime, our fellow church members are going to hell by the boat load.

A.W. Tozer said, “It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”

D. James Kennedy said, “The vast majority of people who are members of churches in…

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Are You Ashamed of That Stumbling Block?


by Mike Ratliff

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV)

Currently, the Truth is under serious assault by the enemies of anyone and anything that has any claim of it holding the quality of being absolute. That means that those cars we see all over our metro areas with those cute little bumper stickers made up of religious symbols that spell out the word “COEXIST” as seen in the image below are attempts to say that there is no such thing as absolute truth. They are saying that whatever is true for one person is okay as long as that person respects what is true for another person even if these “truths” are completely contradictory. The absurdity of this is apparent to anyone with any ability to reason, but as we have seen, post-modern thinkers do not think logically.

Continue reading

Calvin Leon Mays


This is to announce the arrival into this world of Calvin Leon Mays. My wife and I got up this morning around 4am so we could drive our son-in-law and daughter to the Lakeside Women’s Hospital in OKC. The delivery of their son was to be induced at 5:30am. However, after monitoring the baby’s vitals for about an hour it was discovered that every time my daughter had a contraction that his pulse would drop to half. It was decided that it would be best for the baby if my daughter had a C-Section.

She became very frightened when they said that. I called my son, a second year resident at GWU Hospital in Washington, D.C.; I asked him about the procedure. He wanted me to take the phone in so he could encourage his sister. I tried to do that, but the best I could do was let my wife hear what he had to say.

They moved us all to the other end of the hospital then called us to the delivery area around 8:00am. At about 8:20am my son-in-law came out holding my grandson. He was born at 8:15am on September 9, 2008 to the relief of many people. I thanked God for answering our prayers then marveled at this exquisite little boy who weighed in at 5 pounds and 14 ounces.

Follow this link to see some of the pictures I took over the last few days since we have been here as well at those on this tremendous day.

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for this baby boy and my daughter and son-in-law.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

New Look


Those familiar with Possessing the Treasure have, I am sure, noticed the new look. I have opted for a new template that has all of the functionality of my old template, but with the added feature of having a flexible width.This means that if you have a wide profile monitor then this blog will widen to match that display. I use one and I think it makes a huge difference in reading.

I have also tried to make the text darker and more intense for better contrast and easier reading. Please let me know if this does not work for you. I have found that what looks good in Safari may not look so good in Firefox and, of course, the opposite is true as well. 🙂

If you are interested in trying out Safari here is the download link. I use an Apple Macintosh running OS X Leopard at home and a Toshiba Laptop running Windows XP at work. I use Safari as my default browser on both. It is the fastest and best looking browser I have used. I also have FireFox, IE, and Camino browsers, but Safari beats them all. The only time I have to resort to FireFox or IE is for some very specific websites like that of my bank or some .NET application servers at work. However, for JAVA based apps Safari works great.

What do you think? 😎