This week’s video of the week details Pastor Ray’s account at the place where Jesus preached this message. Let this message encourage your heart today to give everything into the hand of Jesus. He is utterly worthy of your praise!
If you have had difficulty in finding additional sermons, please go to the top of the page and select, “Do You Need More Sermons?” (Note: The download command is at the bottom of the very long page for now, but any sermon can be streamed or downloaded.) The last 150 are also available for streaming on the right side of the website.
Our internet radio is working and is on the right side of the webpage and the bottom of the page. Simply click the Pilgrim’s Progress logo, and it will automatically play the last three sermons or broadcasts. You can access internet radio without an internet connection by calling (641) 793-9914.
The Church’s greatest need is to lay aside everything she thinks she knows, read the Scriptures, and believe what they say. This will break the power of the traditions of Calvin, Luther, and Roman Catholicism that have twisted the plain meaning of key salvation words–grace, atonement, saved, and sin–resulting in a Gnostic, antinomian gospel that is no gospel at all. Those who study the Bible with light from the Holy Spirit will discover that Jesus dramatically saves us from sinning now. This issue is life or death, because we cannot live wrong and die right! Has the gospel you’ve believed completely removed all external and internal sin from your life and soul?
After an outstanding welcome message from Psalm 40 by Sister Michelle, Pastor Ray discusses stonewalling–delaying or blocking a request, process, or person by refusing to answer questions, by giving evasive replies, or by a refusal to submit to Jesus (resulting in no outpouring of love). This is the final sign that you’re about to turn away from Jesus. On the other hand, the first sign of not stonewalling Jesus begins with going beyond socially acceptable bounds, like Mary of Magdala who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears. A person who sees his/her true spiritual condition, and is subsequently saved from all this sin by Jesus, will sell out to follow Jesus and sacrificially support the work of the Gospel.
Is this your present experience? Has it been your experience in the past, but you’ve gotten angry because your expectations haven’t been met–or some other reason–and now you’ve decided to stonewall Jesus?
Are you inclined to run from God because there is shame in your life? This isn’t a psychological problem–it is a real problem, because it means that there is sin from which you haven’t repented. Repentance and confession are not the same. You can confess a sin and then go right back to it. But to repent of sin means to renounce it and make restitution. If you’ve not repented, none of the knowledge you acquire about Jesus will bring you into his presence. Instead, it will store up wrath as you flatter and deceive yourself about your real spiritual condition. Are you walking clean with Jesus, in his presence, right now? If not, will you immediately renounce all sin and make restitution?
Is the gift of the Holy Ghost an optional snack for you? Through the parable of the man begging his friend for three loaves at midnight, Jesus directs us to pray for the gift of the Holy Ghost with bold, persistent, urgency that will not be turned away. This begging process humbles our hearts and makes us aware that we are starving orphans without the Holy Ghost. For God to answer, obedience to the Holy Spirit in even the smallest things must accompany this kind of prayer. When the Holy Spirit prompts you to spend time with him in prayer or Scripture, do you obey? Do you cherish his promptings, or do you grieve him away by ignoring his promptings and going about your life? If you aren’t anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit, how will you ever reach the lost?
Did you know that the antichrist is already here? Just as the Jews missed the Christ because he wasn’t what they expected, many professing Christians miss the antichrist because it isn’t what they expect. The antichrist is not a man who will rise up for a few years at the end of time. The antichrist is the Gnostic delusion that teaches, “You’re saved,” while denying the necessity of quitting sin. Today, will you honestly face John Bunyan’s question, “Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell?”
John writes, “Brethren, I am not writing a new commandment to you that never previously existed, but an old commandment which you were having from a beginning…On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you that never previously existed, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is shining already” (1 John 2:7-8, Lavender’s New Testament). The old commandment is to give God rule over one’s life and to obey his moral law. The new commandment is to enter the school of the Holy Spirit. This is possible only when you have been changed inwardly (born from above). Once enrolled, a person is no longer enticed to sin because the law of God is written on the heart. Jesus becomes the prime love and pursuit of the soul, and the Christian seeks the royal authority of God over his or her life, and God’s righteousness. Is this your present experience?
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, if you may not be changed inwardly and may become as young children, you may never, never enter into the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 18:3, Lavender New Testament). This inward change is a supernatural work of God on the soul that writes the law of God on the heart and causes a person to stop sinning. In much of the modern church, a dense, dizzying fog of lies obscures this radical gospel. Jesus doesn’t require self-improvement, but crucifixion—the total transfer of the ownership of one’s life to Christ. Today, are you in a cold, dead, numb state of self-ownership? Or have you been inwardly transformed into a humble, sinless child by the Spirit of the living God?
Heaven’s decree stands: the gates of hell and Satan himself WILL NOT withstand the church. The gospel of holiness has been loosed in America and in Washington, D.C., and it CANNOT be bound. But, Satan has brought incredibly deceptive, false teachings into the church that drain away life, spiritual refinement, and the Holy Spirit from God’s people. The lies of God’s unconditional love, and that you can live in your sin and still go to heaven, block Christians from facing the filthy darkness of their lives and horrendous condition of their souls. America is being destroyed while the church wallows in dishonesty, adultery, fornication, lying, cheating, cursing, alcoholism and drug addiction, pornography, vengeance, recrimination, cowardice, depression, anger, and despair, with no victory and no anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself could have done nothing without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, yet we have expected to build His church with programs, success strategies, concerts, crusades, and workshops. Instead of building on the rock and foundation of Christ, we have preached a legalistic, “you’re saved, now try your best,” gospel in which Death, not Jesus, saves us from sinning. Will you choose to believe that Jesus can save you from sinning NOW, purpose in your heart to never sin again, and go on to seek the Pentecost power of the Holy Spirit?
Sister Kathryn opens the welcome with two questions: Do you want to walk free of sin? and, Do you want Jesus to answer your prayers? Pastor Ray then plunges into an urgent call for an utter consecration to and reliance on Jesus Christ and our desperate need for the Pentecost power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ ministry would have failed without the power of the Holy Spirit, and we can expect the same result. We cannot and will not touch America without the Holy Spirit! Will you sell out totally not only for Jesus, but for the lifework of the Gospel?
Your answer to the above question will not have any bearing on how big Jesus really is, but it will reveal the condition of your own heart. If you respond to the light of Jesus with eagerness, and offer everything to him, Jesus will appear very large. If Jesus seems small to you, and you’ve shirked away from the light you have, you are agreeing with darkness. God isn’t grading on a curve. The only way to enter heaven is by total acceptance of the light and being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Have you cherished the gospel of Jesus Christ, or is it just an add-on to your already full life?
Courting has two sides: pouring out love, and preparing the other person to receive that love. Embedding the battles of Jericho and Ai within the three progressive stages of sin outlined in 1 John, Pastor Ray unfolds the love-motivated discipline of God to prepare our hearts to love him. God’s purpose isn’t to make you look good or be successful. Instead, he wants to make you into a lover, and ultimately receive you as a saint into glory. Even so, like Achan and his family, you can cross a line where your repentance is not accepted. Do you see the great love and purpose of God in his refusal to compromise with your disobedience, uncleanness, self-will, or life goals?
(Notes are available!)
Do you want to see the manifested glory of God in your life? The zeal of God to answer our prayers and save us is stirred up when we declare war on the sin in our lives. The crossing of the Jordan River in the Old Testament, and the baptism in the Jordan River in the New Testament, symbolize this repentance. After this declaration of war, circumcision–the cutting off of all human ability or self-help–paves the way for God to step in and bring the victory. Have you made peace with your sin, or is it your enemy? If sin is your enemy, are you fighting it by trying harder, or have you turned the battle over to Jesus?
Does, “I’m saved, and now I have to do my best,” encapsulate your Christian experience? If so, you’ve been duped by a gnostic, self-improvement, legalistic gospel that’s no different than Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or any of the world religions. This flat-earth gospel blocks a true apprehension of the great divide between our heart and the heart of Jesus. In turn, no godly sorrow is felt, and there is no real repentance. Instead of being born again into righteousness, many are born into dead religion and legalism. The changed meanings of key salvation terms–grace, faith, righteousness, atonement, and saved–are the stronghold of this impotent, revival-blocking theology. Are you ready to leave the “traditions of man” and trust in the Scriptural gospel of a full and present salvation from all sin?
(Notes are available!)
Have you ever felt that you would die if God didn’t save someone you knew? Most of us think, “If I just talk to them the right way, they’ll come to Jesus,” and we comfortably avoid the excruciating soul agony of praying as if we would not be denied. The problem with this is that no one will ever come to Jesus this way. Until we give up the delusion of self-sufficiency and all of our back-up plans, recognize that our laziness and lack of concern put Jesus on the cross, and finally become anguished for the lost, God will not send his Holy Spirit. Being converted is not enough. Without this anguished mind, even those who love Jesus can easily slip into a calloused heart and dead religion. Are you able today to enter the throne room of God and get an immediate answer? Do you know what it is to travail in birth for a soul? If not, does this fact bother you enough for you to cry out to Jesus about it???
In this very unique and eye-opening reading of Jacob’s life, Brother David unfolds Jacob’s heart to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit. Though immature, he committed himself to God in ways very precious to Jesus, and did not turn away in his heart when he went through suffering he could not understand. Just as God birthed the nation of Israel out of Jacob’s suffering, God wants to birth something out of your suffering that’s bigger than you can imagine. Do you earnestly desire the blessing of God in your life, no matter what it will cost you? (The welcome was a call to holiness laid out primarily in 1 Peter by sister Michelle.)
After Sister Michelle opens with an exhortation to obedience motivated by God’s love for us, Pastor Ray unfolds the book of Hosea and its relevance to the modern church. A Christian or church in this place is one who has cheated on God and now has one last chance to earn back God’s trust. Two great sins are identified: first, turning aside from Jesus and being disloyal when our walk with him becomes painful; and second, running from God when he comes to us. This behavior tears the heart of God, who cries, “I love you! How can I give you up?” If we, as a church, do not quickly return to God, he has every right to end our relationship in the divorce decree, “I am not your God, and you are not my people.” Does the idea of God saying, “Don’t call me your God,” terrify you? Are you fully devoted to Jesus today?
This robust finale to this week’s broadcasts on the theology of the sinning Christian pinpoints unrighteousness as the number one issue facing America today. America’s wickedness is rooted in unbelief in the power of the blood of Jesus to remove sin now. Though carefully couched in Reformed theology, this unbelief comforts a person in sin. It blocks the crisis of honestly looking at one’s sin and deciding to do something about it. The truth is, only those who are born again and stop sinning will be saved from eternal damnation. Do you honestly hate your sin, or just its penalty?
(Note: Our dear brother Malcolm Lavender is still alive. He recently published a fresh translation of the New Testament that preserves the original doctrines of salvation from sin!)
Building on yesterday’s message, Pastor Ray delves into the lives of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius and their doctrinal movements with the Synod of Dort and the Remonstrance. Calvin killed and imprisoned those who disagreed with him, while Arminius brought to light the lie of the sinning Christian and the truth that we can live without sin in this life. In the 1700s, the Wesley brothers uncovered the doctrine of entire sanctification, thereby restoring the apostolic doctrine of Christianity. This struggle over the gospel, and the pervasive denial of a sinless life, blocks the needed revival in America today. If you can walk in your sin and still be saved, then what need is there for a revival of holiness? Beloved, has Jesus removed all of your sins? If not, will you submit to him TODAY and let him free you?
The following tract was written by Elmer Ellsworth Shelhamer. Born in 1869, Shelhamer was converted at 16 and called to preach holiness and divine healing. He labored in revivals, helped found Free Methodist Churches in Pennsylvania and Illinois, and spent several years ministering at God’s Bible School. He wrote and edited a number of books and traveled to every continent except Antarctica before passing on to his reward in 1947.
The following are some of the features and manifestations of carnality:
Reader, the Spirit ALONE can interpret and apply this tract to your individual case. As you read, examine yourself as if in the immediate presence of God. Do you ever feel:
1. A secret sense of pride; an exalted feeling in view of your success or position; because of your good training and appearance; because of your natural gifts and abilities; an important, independent spirit; stiffness and preciseness; married to your opinion?
2. Love of human praise; a secret fondness to be noticed; love of supremacy; drawing attention to self in conversation; a swelling out of the ego when you have had a free time in speaking or praying!
3. The stirrings of anger or impatience–but worst of all, you call it nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when reproved or contradicted; sharp, heated flings at another?
4. Self will; a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; a driving, commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside an unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?
5. Carnal fear, a man-fearing spirit; a shrinking from reproach and duty; reasoning around the cross; a shrinking from doing your whole duty by those of wealth or position; a fearfulness that someone will get out of the Spirit and thus offend and drive some prominent person away; a compromising, holding-back spirit?
6. A jealous disposition; a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself?
7. Lustful stirrings; unholy actions, a carnal leaning; undue affection and familiarity towards those of the opposite sex; wandering eyes; looking the second time?
8. A dishonest, deceitful disposition; evading and covering the truth; covering up your real faults; leaving a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth when it is to your advantage?
9. Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an overanxious feeling whether everything will come out all right?
10. Formality and deadness; lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference; lack of power with God? Selfishness, love of ease; love of money, etc.?
These are some of the traits which generally indicate a carnal heart. If one principle is lurking there, you can depend on it, they are ALL there. By prayer and fasting hold your heart open to the searching light of God until you see the groundwork thereof. The Holy Ghost will enable you, by confession and faith, to bring your “old man” to the death. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, than henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6). Do not patch over, but go to the bottom. It will pay. Hallelujah!
Following up on yesterday’s broadcast, Pastor Ray shows that the great delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11) which will lead many to receive the mark of the beast is the word manipulation of key salvation terms. While the Protestant Reformation made a vital break with the Roman Catholic Church over salvation by faith, and not works, it did not restore apostolic Christianity. Instead, the doctrine that Jesus received the full wrath of God for the elect, thereby legally satisfying their debt, developed as the linchpin of Calvin’s TULIP theology. Instead of being saved from sin, the Christian is only saved from the penalty of sin. This system empties the blood of Jesus and the atonement of their power. Millions who are trusting in a legal salvation while living in sin will wake up in hell! Instead of being comfortable in our sin, each one of us must come to a crisis point when we see sin for what it really is, and recognize that unless we stop sinning we are eternally lost. What will you do today with the blood of Jesus Christ?
In A.D. 148, Hermas wrote, “He said to me, ‘You have heard correctly, for that is so. For he who has received remission of sin ought never to sin again…‘” In this thorough and compassionate encore presentation, Pastor Ray shows that this view of Christian perfection prevailed for the first two centuries of the church. Though much of the modern church remains in the throes of gnostic heresy–a melding of low Arminianism and hyper-Calvinism–the Scriptures continue to testify that to be saved means to be saved from your sin. If you’re walking in sin, you have not yet been saved. Does your daily behavior testify that you are a new, holy creature in Christ?
(NOTE: Our dear Brother Lavender is still alive, although his beloved helpmate has gone on to her eternal reward. His website is http://www.lavendersnewtestament.com/.)
Belshazzar refused the light he had about the holy God of heaven and died partying. He was unable to read the writing on the wall, which was the judgment of God over his life. By contrast, Daniel took a strong stand for righteousness, refused the king’s gifts, and was exalted (and delivered) by God. With the light you have received, have you responded like Daniel or Belshazzar?
The welcome is from Psalm 19 and Revelation 22 from our beloved sister, Kathryn. The picture is Rembrandt’s painting entitled “Belshazzar’s Feast.”
Abraham entered covenant with the Lord, received promises, but still let himself be controlled by his circumstances. Famine drove him to Egypt, and Sarah’s barrenness led him to Hagar. Finally, he came to a place where he trusted that God would not break his word. Reasoning through the promises of God enabled Abraham to move forward and offer his son Isaac in faith. When God delivered, Abraham fell down on his face and worshiped God for the first time. He’d sold out to do exactly what God told him to do.
Have you made this absolute surrender to Jesus Christ? A lack of victory over sin indicates a withholding of love and obedience from God. Jesus can’t fulfill the plans he has for your life if you withhold from him. Do you walk in the trust that, if you do what God has told you to do, he will provide for you?
In just the past sixty years, the morality of America crumbled. The media, dominated by the left, teaches tolerance and denies Biblical definitions of gender, pre-born life, human identity, and sexuality. The success of this attack on right and wrong lies in the failure of preachers and pastors to deal with sin. Instead of stressing the need to be made holy in reality now by faith in Jesus, large swathes of the church glean their understanding of morality from academia, politics, CBS, ABC, CNN, and FOX news. The book of Jude vividly illustrates the defining features of these false Christian teachers, and how we are to respond. Will you, with the host of heaven, cry out, “The Lord rebuke you!”?