American and Western Christians today are the children of a modern age of heresy. We possess unprecedented education for pastors, previously unheard of resources for radio and television, and greater religious freedom than ever before–and yet billions around the world, more than at any other point in history, have never heard the name of Jesus. What has so paralyzed the Christian church and resulted in her degradation into sin and failure to fulfill the Great Commission? The fault is not with Buddhism, Islam, Mormonism, or any other pagan religion, but with lying teachers in the Christian Church who have mishandled the Scriptures. In denying the possibility and necessity of a sinless life, these teachers strip the gospel of the cardinal Christian elements that transform a sinner into a saint. It is time to kick back the 2,000 years of opinions and traditions that have accumulated like dirt over the Scriptures and unearth the plain gospel of crucifixion with Jesus Christ and transformation into a new creature in reality. Have you been crucified with Christ and saved now from sinning?
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?
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?
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???
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?
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/.)
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!”?
The rich young ruler who ran to Jesus didn’t say, “I love you and give my life to you.” Instead, his question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” reveals that he did not love Jesus more than his own self. Regardless of how religious someone appears, a person who believes in the supremacy of self is an atheist.
Is your practical reality that God “exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6)? Perhaps you intellectually agree to this, but then do you say, “God helps those who help themselves?” This is the walk of the natural, and not spiritual, person. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to follow Jesus,” but then not be born again and baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Believing in Jesus necessarily means that we no longer believe in ourselves. Revival will not come until men and women will weep before God and confess, “I’ve been living with an intellectual knowledge of God, but no fire!” Are you a real Christian, or are you an atheist?
After a brief opening about the nature of Jesus, and the need for him to be the Supreme Ruler of the soul, Pastor Ray opens up the phone lines for the monthly offertory. Enjoy the hymns and be encouraged to trust in Jesus for your provision! He pays for what he orders!
Thank you to all who contributed at the call of the Holy Spirit, the cost of radio is met for this month. The last pledge came in just after our prayer meeting ended last night!
Sometimes, we can get let time and love gloss over unresolved conflicts with others. But when it comes to our crimes against God, the courts of heaven will not let anything slide. God allows suffering to come into our lives as corrective discipline to turn our hearts back to Him. But if we rail against this discipline with grumbling or anger, we prove our disloyalty to God, break His heart, and push him closer to an eternal divorce. The scriptures teach that God hates divorce, but know that Jesus requires entire consecration. Does it crush you that God is lamenting over you?
In this sobering message, Pastor Ray identifies that salvation consists in a state of mind that is supremely happy in (and resigned to) God’s will. To be saved, we must recognize that we’ve stolen ourselves from God, return to Him, and make restitution to all we’ve injured. Doubtful actions will block us from hearing the Holy Spirit, sear our hearts, dull our fear of God, and ultimately ruin our souls. Is Christ’s yoke an iron collar of duty to you, or is your delight in the will of God? Where’s your heart with Jesus today as you listen to the sermon?
Welcome message by Sister Michelle
In a gut-wrenching effort to prevent divorce, God said to Israel, “I am going to block her way with thorns…I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness and speak to her heart…and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope” (Hosea 2:6; 14-15). Have you found yourself boxed in by God, with no sense of his presence, and no way to save yourself from total ruin? If so, the reason may be that you’ve resisted the leading of the Holy Spirit for so long that God is bringing crisis to your life in a final attempt to save you. The devil will lie and and say, “God won’t really provide for you. He’s a hard God,” but God’s heart is to open a gateway of hope. He loves you! Will you walk through the valley of Achor trusting in the goodness of Jesus? What Jesus will explicitly show you is that you are the hard one and not Him. Are you free in Jesus today??
When God instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute, Hosea didn’t grumble, “Come on, God, I only have one life! Are you really making me do that?” Instead, Hosea trusted the Lord and did what he’d asked. Can you say the same about your walk with Jesus? When difficult times have come, have you lifted up your hands and thanked Jesus, or have you turned away in your heart and gone to grumbling, grouchiness, or a bad mood? This is not a small issue. Grumbling is sin; it is a refusal to be made holy. If we, as America and as a church, refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to rebuild the foundation principles of righteousness, God will finally say to us what he said to Israel: “You are not my people, and I am not your God.” Will you forever renounce grumbling today?