Thursday, June 30, 2011


Do You Know Him


“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14. According to God’s own words the vast majority of human beings will never come into a saving relationship with His Son. Statistically speaking (meaning a person or persons being treated as a piece of data or information) multitudes of humans will take the wrong road which will lead them to an eternity void of God (Hell). In comparison, a much smaller number of folks will chose the way (Jesus Christ) that will lead them into eternal glory (Heaven). The only question in this life you need to be overly concerned with is which statistic will you choose to become?

Perhaps you’re reading this commentary because someone loves you enough to want you to see the truth. They’ve sent it to you but you are highly skeptical of God and the Bible. Please, do yourself a favor; take a moment to humor your friend, me, and God. Just sit back, relax, and let God guide your mind and heart for the next few moments, you won’t be sorry.

The Bible is the Word of God. Yes, it was written by men but it was authored by God Himself and no one else. The Bible is thousands of years old; no other book has endured the test of time as God’s word has. It was written by some forty men over a period of approximately 1,500 years. And by men who, for the most part, didn’t even know each other. Yet, when we study it we find it to contain one integrated design from cover to cover. There are 66 books all together that make up the Old and New Testaments. Each of these books has its importance. As we read and study our Bibles we learn that it is actually just one complete book.

How do we know that the Bible is God’s word? Why should we believe it? God authenticated His Word so man, after reading it, would have no doubt as to whom the author is. He did this by giving us history lessons in advance. The Bible is jam-packed with prophecy, which is simply God telling us what will happen next in the history of mankind. Many of those prophetic scriptures have already come to pass. Thus God’s authentication process is working fine.

In the Old Testament we’re given more than 300 prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. Who is this Messiah? Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled those Old Testament prophecies to the letter. Just in case you’re interested, the mathematical possibility of one man fulfilling even eight of those prophecies is astronomical; basically impossible. Only God Himself could have accomplished such a feat. Yet the Bible is still ridiculed and disparaged as being nothing more than myth, fairy tales, and legends by those who have no use for God or His Word. Most people who fall into the category of unbelievers only know what they’ve been told about the Bible by others who are also unbelievers. In the case of a non-believer teaching what the Bible has to say to other non-believers, naturally all that will be produced is more non-believers.

If you truly want to know and understand the Bible you must first become spiritually in tune with its Author, you must be born again, this will be explained a little further on in this commentary. But I will tell you right now that listening to other non-believers who only parrot what they’ve heard from like-minded non-believers will do you no good whatsoever. You must at least hear both sides of any story. That’s the only way to find the truth for yourself. Only then can you make an informed decision about which eternal statistic you’ll become.

Speaking of eternal destiny, most people will put more emphasis on which new refrigerator to purchase than where they will spend eternity. Man has been placed on this planet to do something; we have a purpose, but most folks have no concept of just what that something is. We have a Creator God and our God wants, more than anything else, to have a relationship with His creation (that’s us). Together with our Creator God we cultivate an everlasting relationship. But we must first believe in Him, who He is, why He did what He did for His creation.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:20. The word of God tells us that if we don’t believe in God there is no excuse for our unbelief. God has clearly revealed Himself in His creation. All we need to do is to look around and God’s power can be easily seen.

God is real, He is our Creator, and He is also our Savior. “But I’ve always heard you Christians say that Jesus Christ is your Savior.” That’s correct. “But, you said God is your Savior.” Jesus Christ is God Almighty. Here, let’s let God’s word explain who Jesus is “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3. Now, before we go any further let me explain something you might not know. The Old Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language and the New Testament was originally written in the Greek. The Bible was not translated into English until some four hundred years ago, just FYI. Now let’s continue.

The Apostle John was one of Jesus’ original disciples and he wrote this book. He knew Jesus, he ate with Him, they walked the shores of Galilee and climbed the hills of Judea together. John was an eye witness to Jesus as He performed all the miracles recorded in the Bible. In John’s record of the events of Jesus’ earthly ministry he refers to Jesus Christ as the “Logos” in the Greek. The English translation of the word “Logos” is “Word”. Jesus Christ is the Word. If we skip on down to verse 14 in this chapter we read the following: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” John 1:14a. What John is saying here is that God entered His creation and became a man, the man Jesus Christ. Jesus has two distinct natures, He is fully God and He is fully man. Jesus Christ is our Creator God, and He is also our Savior, and that’s the truth found on the pages of our Bibles.

Your question right about now might be “Why do I, or anyone for that matter, need a savior?” You see, we humans blew it back some years ago in a place called the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and from Adam He made Eve. God had this great place all designed for their lives to be filled with happiness. But they weren’t happy with God’s explanation of how things were to go, through the prodding of an evil fallen angel (Satan) they rebelled against God which began a steady spiral down to what we now see as a very depraved society. In all this depravity humans have become more and more rebellious through the years. God calls this rebellion “sin.” Sin and God cannot co-exist so God had to do something to save His Creation from total damnation (Hell).

God offers you and all of mankind the same free gift. There is nothing you can do to earn it, nor can you purchase it. It’s free for the asking, but you must ask for it to receive it. “So, what is it?” I could tell you but again let’s let God do the explaining. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. God is telling you in perfect English that if you desire to escape that place called Hell (perish), you must believe in His Son, Jesus who is the Messiah (the Christ). You must believe that Jesus Christ died while He hung on a cross some 2,000 years ago, and that He did this to take the sin of the world upon Himself; He was buried, and rose from the grave three days later. He’s alive today. He’s waiting for you to ask Him into your life. But you must ask. God is love, He loves you but He won’t force you to accept His free gift but He plainly explains the alternative to that gift throughout His Word.

“…if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24. You are a sinner and you must acknowledge that fact before anything else. God is telling you here that the penalty for unbelief is death; you will die in your sins. In other words, unbelief results in eternal punishment instead of eternal glory. Like I said, God will not force you to love Him. He loves you so much that He died for you and allows you to choose loving Him over an eternity in Hell.

Only our living God could have stepped into the picture to save His creation from everlasting damnation. Nothing less than the death of God Himself would suffice to accomplish this reconciliation between God and man. God loves you and does not wish for you to choose the alternative to His free gift. “I’m still not clear on this free gift thing.” Let me explain, Jesus Christ is the free gift from God. Jesus willingly died in your stead, He took your place on that cross, He took the punishment that was rightfully due you onto Himself. The free gift from God is His only begotten Son. God gave His Son to cover the payment necessary to take away the sin of the word. All you have to do is accept His free gift, Jesus Christ, into your heart and you will live forever.

You see, right now as a non-believer you are dead. You are dead in your sins. You are basically awaiting the second death when you will pass from this life into the next. But as a born again believer in Christ you only die once. That one death is death to sin. Once you say yes to Jesus Christ your sins are forgiven never to be remembered again, and you become born again, born from above, from God. God creates in you, not just a clean heart, but a brand new heart, you become a new creation in Christ, and something you will be very happy to learn is that your sins will never be thrown in your face by God. As a forgiven sinner you will be seen by God as He sees His Son Jesus, perfect.

God even goes a step further as He places in you His Holy Spirit who will dwell within you until you are taken off this planet and enter into your new home in Heaven. God seals His Holy Spirit in you and that seal can never be broken, not even by you. Remember earlier I said you had to be in tune with God to understand His word? Here’s that explanation of how you can be in tune with God. When you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, you are then spiritually in tune with the Author of the Bible and He will give you your heart’s desire. If that desire is to understand His Word (the Bible) He will provide you with that understanding.

All this is given to you by God the moment you first believe and are born again. You will have joy unspeakable, peace unmatchable, and a love unattainable from any other source. God becomes your Father, you become His child. Nothing can separate you from the love of God, nothing. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.” Romans 8:38. The Apostle Paul tells us that once we are born of God (born again) nothing can separate us from Him. On the other hand God loves everyone equally, believer and non-believer. The difference is in the separation part. Non-believers, even though loved by God, will be separated from Him when they die. Even if you don’t believe in God you still reap the blessings from God. You are sustained by the God you don’t believe in. But that will all end at the death of the unbeliever as God will not be in Hell with them. Your punishment for rejecting Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord is eternal separation, eternal damnation.

“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” Acts 16:31. All through the New Testament we’re told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. But what does it mean to believe? It means we place our faith, our trust, and our hope in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation. There is no other way we can ever get to the Father than to believe in the Son. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. All other religions are false and can offer you nothing when it comes to everlasting life. God is the God of the Holy Bible, of Judaism and Christianity and no other religion. All other so called gods (small g) are made up out of the minds of evil men and women who follow after their father, Satan, who God tells us is the father of all lies. And he’s promoted a mass of lies since.

Follow Jesus Christ, put your faith in Him and believe. Our human lifespan is short but eternity is forever. Dying is the closure on God’s free gift. After you’re dead and taken from this world you have no more chances to change your mind. It’s done; you’ve made your decision while you lived. Once in Hell there will be no pardons, no reprieves, no commuting of sentence.

If, on the other hand, you’ve made the right choice then Heaven awaits you and you won’t want to ever leave. Which of the two statistics have you chosen to become? Where are you opting to spend your eternity?

My prayer is that you’ve chosen wisely, and now you know Jesus and He knows you.

Ron Graham

96 County Road 5480 Salem, MO 65560

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Thursday, June 23, 2011


All Bad Church Doctrine is Intentional


“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is profitable for doctrine because it’s all God breathed. We are to use the scriptures as a reproof against bad doctrine, then we correct those who are promoting such doctrine, and we continue to use those same scriptures as instructions in righteousness. How can we ever expect to be considered righteous before our perfect God when we allow bad doctrine to sway our Christian Church?

Do we get bad doctrine from the Bible? Is God inclined to provide us with erroneous doctrines to confuse us? Doctrine, simply put, means that which is taught, it’s the act of teaching – it’s instruction. Jesus taught us His doctrines “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:28-29.

The only people who should be teaching in our Churches are those who have studied God’s word and who stand firm on the truth of His word. These folks would be under the authority of God Himself. But this just isn’t the case these days is it? Bad doctrine is abundant in our Christian Churches. All bad doctrine comes from the father of all lies, Satan, and of course it’s intentional.

Many of my brethren have written me complaining about their Church doctrine. So much so that I’ve begun to wonder just how many truly Christ centered, Bible believing Churches remain. For the reason stated above, many of these folks have told me they refuse to attend church services and have begun to hold services in their homes with family members and friends. What they no longer receive at their local Christian Church is afforded them in abundance at home – which is God’s truth from His inerrant Word.

Like I said, bad doctrine is intentional; it has been Satan’s plan since the inception of the Church to disrupt the flow of true information and subtly subvert that truth with his lies. Many pastors today have no clue they are propagating erroneous church doctrine. According to many of my readers their pastors don’t seem to have an inkling of what is correct and what is not, or they just don’t care. They’ve tried to confront the pastor but in most cases he, or worse yet she, simply states “I was taught by my professors in seminary, and they hold PhD’s in theology, what do you hold?”

We are all held accountable by God to know His word. If we are taught by someone who is off base concerning God’s word we too will promote the same fallacies when we begin to teach others. All Satan had to do was to get those professors to see things his way and voila the bad doctrine began. We’ve certainly been privy to a lot of bad doctrine over the past few years. With the invention of TV we’ve seen men and women manipulating the masses for nothing more than personal gain. The internet has become another foraging ground for those who, solely for personal gain, have devised ways to achieve their goals and it’s all done using bad doctrine.

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:7-9. The doctrines of men have become common place in our Christian Churches; can Jesus be happy about such behavior? You decide. But while you are making up your mind remember how many times in the scriptures we are told to “…be ye not deceived”. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Ephesians 4:14.

Why is it so easy to preach from the pulpit today and garner a huge following all the while teaching bad doctrine? Those of you who don’t know the answer to that question may well be part of the problem. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Timothy 4:1. Basically, giving heed means to regard as truth. These folks believe Satan and his minions of evil over God and His Word. Why? Because they are biblically illiterate and it seems they prefer their illiteracy over truth.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Because of the many letters I receive these days from folks complaining about their pastor and others in their church leadership’s hierarchy who are leading their congregations down a very destructive path, I’d say we are well on our way to fulfilling the above prophecy.

I’m not able to attend every church service around this country so the letters from my brethren must suffice. But here’s a little tidbit some of you living here in the US might not be aware of. I’m not only inundated by letters from American Christians who are very concerned about their churches, but many letters come from my brethren in various countries around the world who have virtually the same complaint. Here’s a sampling of the complaints. “Why does my pastor teach from Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life”? “Why is Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, or any of his books for that matter being taught to our congregation as the gospel?” And one of my favorites is “Why are we beginning to revert back to accepting and placing in our Christian Church many of the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, doesn’t being a Protestant mean we stand completely apart from the RCC in all doctrine”?

I’ve had people write and tell me that their pastor reads the book “The Shack” from the pulpit and they want to know if this is doctrinal. Or why do pastors pass out books to their congregations entitled “Heaven is Real” not as a book of fiction but as a book that is actually supposed to represent Heaven to us?

A pastor must be able to discern the truth, and as he teaches and preaches from God’s inerrant Word it will be revealed to the congregation that God is the author of the pastor’s message. Because many pastors are not spiritually discerning, bad doctrine thrives. “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,” Colossians 2:18. God’s word is our doctrine. When men veer off the path that God has laid down for all humanity, it is intentional. Satan doesn’t want the Bible preached in our Christian Churches, nor does he want Christians reading the Bible. So, he has devised a way to replace the word of God with books that entice us away from the truth. It’s quite apparent by the biblical illiteracy permeating our Christian Churches that Satan has been very successful in his attempt to replace the Bible with other works. Not knowing sound doctrine themselves, many pastors have fallen for Satan’s enticements. Then they proceed to advance the doctrines of devils instead of the doctrines of the one and only true and living God. All this bad doctrine has been devised by the enemy of God to throw the Church for a loop. Intentional? You better believe it.

The last thing Satan wants the Church to do is to physically open their Bibles and become habitual at reading and studying God’s word. If Christ’s Church were actually literate, biblically that is, there would be many more Christians questioning bad doctrine as it enters their churches. Bad doctrine would be stopped at the front door, or in the case of a pastor who spouts bad doctrine, shown the front door. And that question from the pastor mentioned earlier “Do you have a PhD in Theology? No? Then where do you get off questioning me?” would have no effect on biblically literate Christian congregations.

Nowadays many people assume that if your name isn’t followed by alphabet soup you can’t be knowledgeable enough concerning the word of God to question those who have a PhD after their names. The question we must ask ourselves when it comes to studying and understanding God’s word is how many of Christ’s disciples had PhD’s after their names while they walked and talked and lived with Jesus for those three years? At the end they were given the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit guided them; some of them wrote down their experiences with Jesus and as they wrote they recorded Jesus’ own words. But all of them preached the truth of the Gospel and all but one were horribly martyred for their faith.

This may come as a shocker to many of you but I have no PhD after my name. I have no collage credits to boast of. I’ve never attended seminary or any Christian college, or secular college for that matter. I made it through high school only by the skin of my teeth and the help of a brother-in-law who wanted to see me graduate. But I’m convinced my teaching is in line with God’s precepts. Why am I so convinced? Only God Himself could be the force behind the commentaries I write. I couldn’t write a word without Him.

I’ve studied my Bible; I don’t mean I’ve just read it through a few times or something like that, but I’ve studied night and day for years. Yes, I studied the teachings of men who had been in the teaching ministry for many decades. My mentor was Chuck Missler of Koinonia House. I spent years studying his teaching materials. For years my eyes would pour over the many teaching materials Dr. Missler supplies. But ultimately the Bible became my greatest source for truth. Everything we read or study apart from the Bible – every Bible teacher’s lessons, all Christian authors and their books need to be filtered through God’s Word.

I went out into the wilderness – I moved my family to rural Missouri from the beautiful Oregon coast. Needless to say they were not very happy with my decision. But in my mind I knew I had to divest myself of all entanglements of this deceptive world to grow closer to God. I spoke to Jesus my Savior and Lord here in the wilderness and finally I came to the realization that my life was no longer my own. I had determined to relinquish all control over to Him. When I made His will mine and His direction my path, He took control. When this occurred God saw that my need to know Him was greater than any other need I had in my life, and through my determination and diligence to grow closer to God by studying His Word, He taught me sound doctrine -- His doctrine, not the doctrines of men.

God will do the same thing for you as He did for me when you completely turn your life over to Him. Hold nothing back that you feel you need to keep control of and you will be greatly surprised by God’s participation in your study times. God will give you spiritual discernment; yes you with or without a PhD after your name.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16. Isn’t it interesting how Paul speaks about the natural man? The word of God is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to the born again believers in Christ who have the mind of Christ, His word is spiritually discernable. He does the instructing, the teaching, and it’s His doctrine, not man’s, by which we are taught.

Let no man deceive you into believing that you, a normal human being, are unable to comprehend the word of God, thus you need a man or women with a doctorate in theology to teach you. That they alone have the answers concerning the correct interpretation of God’s word. Those who allege such an exalted position are not led by the Holy Spirit to make such a claim. God will give anyone who asks for wisdom and knowledge concerning His word exactly what their heart desires. If it is your desire to no longer be a follower of all the satanic chicanery in the Christian Churches today, then ask God to teach you His doctrine. Study your Bible. Be a Berean “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11. Seek the truth for yourself daily to see if what you are being taught lines up with the Word of God.

All Bad Church Doctrine is Intentional, with Satan in the midst. The Word of God is our only true stability in a very unstable world. Study it with all due diligence and Satan must flee.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Got Oil


“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. The just – those who’ve become justified in God’s eye’s – will live by their faith. Old Testament or New, the just lived and do live by their faith. The Old Testament believers looked forward to and believed in the coming of their Messiah, the New Testament saints look back to the cross and the death, burial, and resurrection of their God and Savior, our Messiah, our coming King, Jesus the Christ, and believe. Three categories of believers are in view here, and they are all saved by faith through the grace of God, yet there remains a distinct difference as we view the salvation imparted to the Old Testament saints, the salvation of the New Testament Church age saints, and New Testament tribulation saints who will be saved while occupying the most horrible period of time known to mankind. Let me explain.

“Two Distinct Events” – a commentary I wrote – was posted to the internet about three weeks ago. Afterwards I was bombarded with letters from readers who requested further explanations, especially concerning the role of the Holy Spirit during the 70th week of Daniel. I was accused of all sorts of errors concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. A few even accused me of becoming a convert to another faith. Though I thought I had explained the role of the Holy Spirit in the last seven years leading up to Christ’s return, as I looked back on that commentary I realized it needed a more thorough explanation.

The Holy Spirit will certainly play a very significant role during the last seven year period of time on earth prior to Jesus setting up His millennial Kingdom, and this period of time is spoken of as Daniels 70th week. During that space of time the Holy Spirit will be hard at work pointing people to Jesus Christ for salvation. That has always been His job. He never points to Himself, always to Jesus. But the Church age, having passed at this point, was a very distinct period in God’s economy. The Church, the body of Christ, consisted of individuals who were all indwelt with the Holy Spirit. “…in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13b-14.

Fact: The Holy Spirit is sealed inside of every born again believer in Christ today. Once the Church has been Raptured, this gift will be gone. Anyone who comes to believe in Christ for salvation after the Rapture will not be sealed with the Holy Spirit, but will be responsible for keeping themselves saved. The Holy Spirit will still be working, but not indwelling.

In the Old Testament the believers were led by the Holy Spirit to believe, to have faith in the coming of the Messiah, but were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The tribulation saints will be similarly led. But they, as the Old Testament believers, will not be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. They must be prepared to endure all sorts of battles, and one such battle will be the waiting as it will seem as though their Master’s return is far off. Hence the parable of the ten virgins and the bridegroom of Matthew 25.

Matthew 24 ends with Jesus’ parable of the wise servant vs. the foolish servant. The wise servant diligently waited for His master’s return “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. Matthew 25 is simply a continuation of that same thought. These onetime Christ rejecters must now endure through that horrible period to be saved. Many will be martyred for their faith, which will be the same as enduring to the end.

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” Matthew 25:1. Here begins Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins and this one is going to shock many of my readers. Jesus begins this parable by referring to the traditions of a Jewish wedding; his audience must be Jewish since they would be the only ones to recognize the significance of these ten virgins (bridesmaids) and especially their lamps.

“There were three stages to a Jewish wedding in that day. The first was engagement - a formal agreement made by the fathers. The second was betrothal - the ceremony where mutual promises are made. The third was marriage - approximately one year later when the bridegroom came at an unexpected time for his bride.

In this parable, the first two stages have already taken place. Now the wedding party (the ten virgins) await the coming of the bridegroom for his bride.

Why does Jesus describe ten virgins? Talmudic authorities affirm that there were usually ten lamps in a bridal procession” – David Guzik

“And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Matthew 25:2-4. Here Jesus explains the foolishness of the virgins who had no oil in their lamp. We find that five of the virgins awaiting the bridegroom had their lamps trimmed sufficiently with oil; the other five took no oil for their lamps as they waited for the bridegroom. Oil is seen here as an idiom referring to the Holy Spirit. Almost from the beginning of this parable we can see something horrible is about to occur.

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” Matthew 25:5. In other words, the wise as well as the foolish virgins were equally complacent and as they waited on the bridegroom they each fell asleep. The wise could legitimately slumber as they were secure in what they possessed (their lamps were full of oil). The foolish virgins slumbered unaware of the peril they faced (possessing lamps with no oil).

“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” Matthew 25:6-9. The five foolish virgins, hearing the bridegroom was on His way, scrambled to get prepared. The bridegroom is Jesus Christ, and the five wise virgins are those who’ve became saved during the last seven year period leading up to Christ’s return. The five foolish virgins were never saved.

Those who remain after the rapture of the Church and become born again will face very strong opposition to their faith, but they will need to endure to the end to be saved. They must keep the word of God, keep His precepts, keep the faith, and keep the Holy Spirit close. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Matthew 25:10-12. When Jesus returns, some of those who think they are saved will be surprised at His response just as the foolish virgins were surprised at the response from the bridegroom. Jesus, being the bridegroom, says that He knew them not, which means He never knew them. They were never a part of His family of born again believers. They had all the signs of being saved except the main ingredient. They had no oil in their lamps. The Holy Spirit was not present in their lives. They had neglected the Holy Spirit’s message and lived without faith in the coming King.

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:13. Obviously Jesus is speaking about His Second Advent as He’s addressing the folks that are living during those last seven years. Everyone who places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ during the 70th week of Daniel will need to keep themselves ready – they all need to be as the 5 wise virgins who keep their oil (the Holy Spirit). In other words they are saved by faith just as the Church is today, but they must keep that faith – and not turn away because of the horrible events that are about to unfold before them. The five foolish virgins never had the faith as the five wise virgins and that’s why they wanted some of their oil. They neglected the oil (the Holy Spirit) to trim their lamps. They very foolishly allowed the tribulations of that time to suck any faith they might have had right out of them, hence the bridegroom never new them.

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.” Matthew 25:14-18. This parable is somewhat similar to our Lord’s parable of the ten virgins in that there were two groups of people, the wise and the foolish. In this case He’s addressing servants belonging to the Master (Jesus is the Master). The wise servants – well what can we say? They kept the faith, they endured till the end, and they never lost their hold on the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus rewards the wise servants He turns His attention to the foolish servant who had a real heart problem. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the foolish servant - the third servant demonstrated that he was not a true servant of his master (he was not saved). Is it not fitting then that he (and those who show the same heart) is cast forever out of the master’s presence into outer darkness?

The next part of chapter 25 gives us a great view of our Lords heart. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matthew 25:34-36. Jesus tells them that the true believer is not at all self-centered, but others centered. The righteous were doing what they did for those mentioned by the King out of love. Their helpfulness came naturally as children of the King, and as they saw a person’s needs they reacted in a Godly way, and for no other reason than love.

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41. Then there are the self-centered, the ungodly, who wouldn’t lift a finger to help someone in need. They are the unrighteous and Jesus lets them know in no uncertain terms that by not helping those in need they turned their backs on Him. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:46. Jesus clearly points out that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. Men only go to Hell because they have willingly cast their lot with the devil and his angels.

Through all we’ve learned here, there is one thing we must keep in mind. Jesus is still addressing the folks of the last seven year period – what many refer to as the tribulation week. As Jesus finishes the last of His parables of this chapter He concludes with two distinct categories of people. He arranges them in groups, His sheep on the right and those who rejected Him (the goats) on His left. The sheep were those who endured until the end; as they were keeping the faith they also helped others no matter what hardship it caused them. The goats were those who had no love for their fellow man, they lived completely contrary to what Jesus taught and expected from His followers; they did not endure until the end. The sheep inherited the Kingdom and the goats were cast into Hell.

I know there are seemingly numerous parallels to that which can be seen in the Church population of today, and it’s a fact that many even in the Church are not really saved (have no oil). But even though there are similarities to the Church age in these parables, the fact is we who are truly born again cannot lose what’s sealed within us, and therein we see the difference.

One last comment. I hope I’ve made it plain that Jesus is addressing those who are occupying that last seven year period of time. He has returned at this point to set everything right, and to set up His millennial Kingdom on earth. And guess who returns with Him? You guessed it, His Church. We are at His side. “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13. Therefore Jesus the Christ, Creator of the universe can’t be addressing His Church in either this chapter or in the previous one.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Time – A Persistent Illusion


“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1. There is a time for everything under Heaven and God established those times. Time is so elusive that no human being will ever completely figure it out, that realm belongs to God. Time just keeps going, but sometimes we run out of time. Our lives are engulfed and ordered by time. Time is all around us, it moves past us yet we can’t see it, it even seems to speed up and slow down.

“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” Ecclesiastes 3:2. Scientists have been working diligently to zero in on just how the idea of time works in relation to the rest of the universe. So many theories have been postulated that nowadays the libraries and book stores are replete with ideas promoting their various scenarios all involving time and its basis for existence. Yet only One individual truly understands the nature of time perfectly – after all, He’s the One who created time.

“God made time so everything didn’t happen all at once.” I read that quote recently and it amused me, but it also moved me to give time a little more serious thought. As we read and study our Bibles we come to the conclusion that the restraints we feel and live by because of time seem to have no effect on God. He is the beginning and He is the end. God has placed a time frame in place for every season to occur as He has determined. With His knowledge of time God is involved in every detail of each of earth’s occupants. “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Ecclesiastes 3:3-4. All aspects of time which have been seen by human kind throughout history God sees simultaneously. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2. Time is God’s creation and He determines the boundaries and sets times duration.

In the book of Revelation Jesus tells us “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” Revelation 1:8a. Of course God is from the beginning and He will be here at the very end. It’s His creation; He’s in charge of every detail including every nanosecond of time. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:10. Every moment of time is established for God’s good pleasure. As His children, we take comfort in knowing we are doing His will according to His time frame, His good pleasure.

John tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3. Then Paul tells us in Colossians that “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16-17. Jesus Christ is the Creator of all time and we live within His constraints.

Humans can record what has happened in the past and those records can be passed on to all posterity. If we study the past we can learn a lot from those recordings. We can actually travel back in time by way of reading history books. Some of those travels can be very exciting, filled with intrigue, love stories, and many wonderful adventures which give us endless hours of entertainment. Entertainment that will keep us glued to our seats until we finish reading. All this and more can be found in God’s word. All we need is the time to read.

“A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;… A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:5, 6, & 8. The Bible is set in increments of time blocks. That’s how God set it up to be understood. We read it and find that God has given mankind their complete history in advance. We call that prophecy; God sets the time for every occasion all for His glory.

Even to achieve as simple a task as seeing what lies just a moment ahead during our daily routine is impossible for mankind. We can plan for tomorrow - make plans for a career change, a summer vacation, a trip to the doctor, or even our own funeral - but we really don’t know if tomorrow will be a part of our future. So the only prudent plan we can make out of all I mentioned is the one that involves our own funeral. Baring the Rapture, that plan is the only plan that will, with certainty, come to fruition at a point in time, according to God’s plan for our future.

God can see our future and He knows what our plans consist of. But His plan for our future may not be what we’ve planned at all. Tomorrows come and go almost without notice, especially in these rushing to and fro filled days. Since each day has us looking forward to a tomorrow, it becomes obvious that tomorrow is only a function of time designed to entice us to look forward. Tomorrow, then, becomes merely a persistent illusion. It’s akin to seeking after a mirage - it just isn’t there, but today is.

There’s only so much time in the life of every human being. Time, even though brought into existence by our Creator God, can be a real enemy to humankind, specifically to those folks who continually stand opposed to their Creator. Since tomorrow is such a consistently stubborn illusion, decisions and the follow through of those decisions must be accomplished in the present. For those of you who weren’t paying attention, that’s today. As Christians, we are bound by a command from our Savior God to work today. “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38. The Lord saw the multitudes and He knew there was a huge harvest. Today that harvest is even greater. Jesus sends you as a laborer into the field of harvest. Are you willing, or are you content to allow others to do all the labor? Ask yourself, when the time comes and we find ourselves standing before Christ to give an account of our lives, what will your response be as you face the Creator of the universe? Sorry God, I just ran out of time.

Many folks have no desire whatsoever to know God or to even believe He exists, unbeknownst to them, time becomes a most horrible enemy. When I was just a youngster I had a teacher who became so irritated with the students who were obvious time watchers, that he attached a sign to the bottom of the clock in his room which stated “Time will pass, will you?” God says “Time will pass, will my child bear fruit for my Kingdom?” Sadly, most Christians today won’t have anything to do with bearing fruit. They are so self-absorbed in the world they love they have no time for following God’s will.

Time is a most fleeting phenomenon, especially when speaking to a person whose eyes are blinded by the god of this world; time instead of being a luxury or something we take for granted becomes a hindrance. Time is a dangerous foe as a person remains in unbelief. Sooner or later time will take its toll on lost individuals as they continue in their stance against God. Why? Because those who remain in this condition risk the very predictable result of hardening their hearts even more against their Creator God. Their father the devil gains a far greater foothold over their lives as they remain in rebellion to God. These folks will finally realize how important the dimension of time was, but it will be too late. As believers in Christ we need to be very diligent in our witnessing attempts. Time is running out.

Side Note:

Here’s a thought provoker; this is my own concept, and it’s only conjecture meant just for fun. Since we know that God created time it would be safe for us to say that God is not restrained by any portion of His creation, including time. Since God dwells in another dimension called Heaven we may assume there is no time passing in that dimension. So here’s my conjecture. God Raptured Enoch when he was 365 years old. When the Church is Raptured we will enter Heaven at the exact instant that Enoch stepped through that same portal into the Heavenly realm. Question, how can we get to Heaven at a different point in time than Enoch if there is no time in Heaven? Purely conjecture on my part, but give it some thought and the possibilities are endless.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… …A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7. Bottom line, there’s a time to sew and a time to speak; the time to keep silence has passed. None of us know how many tomorrows we have left. All we know for sure is what we have today. As born again believers in Christ we may not have any more tomorrows, as we should all be aware that the Rapture is imminent, which makes the urgency of speaking to our lost family members, friends, and even those strangers that cross our path about the saving grace of Jesus Christ paramount . Yesterday, today was tomorrow. Tomorrow, today will be yesterday. But today, today is today. So in all actuality today is all we’ve got. What will you do with your today?

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Christian Scoffers Abound


“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant…” 2 Peter 3:3-5a. For the last 2,000 years Christians have been anxiously awaiting their Lord and Savior’s return. Why? Because of Jesus’ own words in John chapter 14. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3. Then again, for that same period of time there have been those who challenge the rest of us with these words “Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:4a. Of course, we who truly trust God know that He will return.

Before Jesus returns to earth He has a prior commitment to accomplish. He must first remove His saints from amongst the earth dwellers. There’s nothing tricky about it, He’ll simply say “Come up here” and we who love Him and who’ve put our faith, trust, and hope in Him, and Him alone for salvation, will all instantaneously go missing. God the Father will say to His Son, “Go get ‘em Son”. At which point Jesus will remove His Church and then approximately seven years later He’ll return again and take His rightful place on David’s throne. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” Luke 1:31-32. From that vantage point Jesus, our Messiah, will rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, along with His saints, for 1,000 years.

In John’s Gospel chapter 14 in verses 2 & 3 Jesus isn’t just trying to get His followers to appreciate Him for what He can do for them with some pie in the sky heavenly enticements (mansions). He’s being extremely forthright telling us just what awaits those who follow Him. As His followers, these words should give us great comfort. When the Creator of the universe tells His followers, “I will come again” we should be more secure with that statement than we are with the fact that we have air to breathe.

Jesus is coming back in the flesh to set up His monarchy on earth. Many Christians perceive themselves to be too intellectual to believe such a thing as Jesus re-appearing in the flesh; most have been taught by their pastors or seminary professors that Bible prophecy is irrelevant, or that prophecy is all in the past, it’s all been fulfilled, there’s nothing else to come. They may be folks who are in love with their worldly pleasures and have no longing for His appearing. Remember the world loves those who belong to her. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived, Jesus will return, and in the flesh. He was flesh and bone when He appeared to His disciples and He will return in the same glorified body He left earth in. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39.

Scoffers are plagued with unbelief. Peter says scoffers will come in the last days, to which I must add “And how”. Any mention of the Rapture in one of my commentaries and the flood gate of letters opens for all who feel the need belittle me and point out my blindness concerning my interpretation of God’s Word. As Jesus tarries the scoffers seem to be further emboldened all the while neglecting to recognize He’s running the show, not us.

Christians who’ve studied eschatology should not be surprised at those who scoff at every prophetic scripture in God’s word. They hold to their own erroneous interpretation of God’s Word and defend their misguided ideas with all tenacity. They come at us from all walks of life. Peter said it would be so. What surprises this Christian is the fact that many of these scoffers, while claiming a relationship with Jesus Christ, criticize His Word. That fact is astounding.

In his first epistle the Apostle John tells us “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:19. John doesn’t mince his words. They called themselves Christians, yet they were not.

“…The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24b-30. The tares are professing Christians yet are not of us. They infiltrate the Church and spread untruths but are perceived to be quite knowledgeable. Many listen to them. They are the enemy’s property, thus they scoff at the truth as they disseminate their lies to the biblically illiterate Church.

Many people simply want to reject God so they can go about their lives without the need to be accountable to Him. They would prefer to wallow in their sinful lifestyles with impunity; they don’t realize that the consequence of sin is death. It is ludicrous for a professing Christian to deny the truth of God’s Word and then ignore the fact that that denial has consequences. Jesus said He would return, why is that so difficult to believe? Could it be that many would rather live on this earth with its manmade rules and laws than to be governed by a perfect awesome King? I pray that is not the case, but I’m concerned that it is.

Many denominations believe that Jesus is currently ruling over His Kingdom in our hearts. To these folks it’s extremely farfetched to believe God will snatch His saints from the face of this earth at some point in the future. The 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth is an anathema to many professing Christians. These folks are also scoffers. “…for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:4b. In other words, they may believe in creation but believing in Jesus’ promise that He will return becomes much more obscure. Peter goes on to enlighten us with a much deeper look into their motives. “For this they willingly are ignorant…,” 2 Peter 3:5a. Willingly ignorant means deliberate. They deliberately refuse the truth, and they knowingly mouth opposition to the prophetic scriptures. The question is how can professing Christians deny God’s truth and say they love Jesus? Why profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ in one breath and call Him a liar with the next?

For years the erroneous teachings of scriptures by deceived individuals has wreaked havoc on a large portion of blind and disobedient Christians. Denying the truth that Jesus will return one day soon is calling Him a liar. A question remains, by denying prophecy are they not poking a finger in God’s eye? If a person doesn’t believe in the Rapture, that unbelief won’t diminish their salvation. Still, to refer to God’s word as nothing more than something that occurred in the past or relegating His word to simply allegorical can’t possibly be very endearing to Him.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Denying any portion of God’s prophetic Word is akin to ignorance, which in the Greek is “agnoeĊ” and it means to err or sin through mistake, to be wrong. Denial of God’s inerrant word, for a follower of Jesus Christ is worse than unbelief, it is willful disobedience. Whether Christians know it or not denial of any portion of God’s word as truth in any form connects them to a corrupt and unbelieving world. As Christians, we are set apart from the world. Christians must stand together against any and all opposition to God’s truth. Picking and choosing what we want to believe is sin.

I find it interesting that four times in his letters Paul instructs Christians to not be ignorant (without knowledge):

Don’t be ignorant about God’s plan for Israel (Romans 11:25).

Don’t be ignorant about spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1).

Don’t be ignorant about suffering and trials in the Christian life (2 Corinthians 1:8).

Don’t be ignorant about the rapture and the second coming of Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Yet, these are areas where ignorance is still common in the Christian church. Paul instructs the Church to learn the scriptures and to obtain the knowledge God would have them to possess.

Another of Paul’s admonishments is to comfort one another with the words he wrote to the Thessalonians. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words .” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Why would Paul give this admonition to comfort one another with these words if there is nothing comforting about them? Teaching the Rapture of Christ’s Church is clearly comforting and encouraging, otherwise there would be no reference to this event whatsoever.

The last days and the end times are spoken of constantly by prophecy teachers, yet in many Christian churches there is no comfort being offered as to the truth of the prophetic scriptures. Every prophetic scripture that has been fulfilled so far has come about exactly as God’s Word proclaimed they would. Why dismiss the remaining few prophetic scriptures as allegorical or as having been fulfilled back in 70AD? There are plenty of scripture verses that have yet to come to pass and we who study those scriptures have a clear vision as to what to expect in these last days. Comforting words are needed in our Churches today to fend off the horrible things we see occurring today. The literal truth of Scripture needs to be taught thereby heading off the lies of scoffers.

Bible prophecy is the key to understanding God’s word and for drawing closer to Him. The Bible has been laid open for our understanding, now more than ever before in the history of the scriptures. Diligent study is essential to discerning those scriptures and grasping what God clearly expects His Church to comprehend. Those who neglect diligent Bible study are missing out on a great relationship with their Savior God. Believing in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is just the beginning, now it’s time to build on a most desired relationship with the Creator of the universe. When we talk about walking with Jesus and growing closer to Him it’s through His Word and much prayer that that relationship builds, and as it builds He begins to take complete control of our lives.

The scoffers will still come, that’s just a fact. We will never convince everyone that God’s Word is true and inerrant; even many professing Christians stand apart from that truth. It all comes down to who you allow to teach you about God and His Word. In many cases men teach the Bible as they themselves have been taught without variance; which means that if they were taught by someone who taught erroneously those same errors are then passed down to the next generation of students and so on until the errors run rampant. Studying your Bible for yourself and praying for God to enlighten you to the truth of His Word will garner a huge harvest of truth and you can take comfort in knowing God gave you the discernment to understand Him.

Opinions? Yes, we all have them. Truth? Now that’s different, we must rely on and stay in God’s word and believe all of His truth. When we discover for ourselves that all of God’s word is inerrant and prophecy matters greatly in the Christians life, our life on earth becomes even more exciting as we await the final outcome.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed


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