Would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?


by Mike Ratliff

47 While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47-48 (NASB) 

When the dogs and swine come to harass and distract it is not pleasant, but I can bear it. However, when someone approaches this ministry as if a friend only to be discovered later to be a deceiver, it is a difficult pill to swallow. When one breaks the bread of the Word of God with us then turns on us it is a hard thing to bear. Why? Deceitfulness is as the word suggests, it is the process of deception, for whatever purpose, that causes trusts to be broken and fills us with anguish and grief. Continue reading

Count it All Joy


 by Mike Ratliff

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8 ESV)

Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:6-10 ESV)

When I was about 10 or 12 years old we went to the Santa Fe Depot in the town I grew up in to meet the train my cousin was on. He and his mother and sisters were traveling from Dallas to see us in Purcell, Oklahoma. In any case, I was excited to see my cousin. As we waited for the train, I did the typical boy thing at a railroad depot. I explored. I found a box on a pole that looked like it had a thermometer in it. I tried to read the temperature, but something had fallen down in front of it. I hit the side of the box to loosen it. It turned out to be a Yellowjacket nest full of Yellowjackets.  The station manager yelled for me to run but it was too late. The next thing I knew I had Yellowjacket wasps all over me. They followed me wherever I went. I could not get away from them. They stung me through my shirt and continued to attack even as I fell to the ground and rolled, trying to get away from them.  Continue reading

Remembering and Forgetting


by Mike Ratliff

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 ESV)

“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?” (Jeremiah 23:23-27 ESV)

Man is a fallen creature. He is flawed. He is forgetful. He is self-focused. He is incapable of knowing God without His divine intervention.

But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” (Joshua 24:19-20 ESV)

There are only two groups of people. There are those who are known by God, are regenerate, have their sins covered by the blood of the Lamb, and are Holy unto the Lord. The other group are those not known by God. They are unregenerate and are in their sins. They are of the World. These two groups are totally separate from one another on the Spiritual plane, but intermingled with one another on the Temporal plane. The first group has received that divine intervention and are now able to serve the LORD. The best the second group can do is be religious and their works unto the Lord are as filthy rags. Continue reading

He Was Numbered With The Transgressors


by Mike Ratliff

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12 ESV)

Debating the defenders of writers such as Brian McLaren is a very eye opening thing. I find it very interesting that they use the very same methods as Liberal Christians and atheists. The Straw Man fallacy is the most prevalent tool they use. They are the defenders of relativism and universalism. Our resistance to any compromise causes them to refer to us as “backward” and “legalistic.” They make the false assumption that all holders of relativism make, which is declaring absolute truth to be a myth. When proof is given in the Bible they declare that that is only our interpretation. We must learn from this to see the logical end of a debate fast approach when that argument is given. It is a total waste of time at that point to continue. Continue reading