How to Find the Narrow Gate

‘Enter by the narrow gate since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; But it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13,14)


I have had many discussions on the subject of salvation, one thing puzzles me, the number of people who believe they have found, and entered, the narrow gate. When asked, most will agree that all of Christianity has found the “narrow way” and are now waiting for the return of Christ.


Correct information is vital for anyone who hopes to find the narrow gate.  Keep in mind that this world is enveloped in a spiritual darkness, so it is essential to find the spiritual light.  Feeling your way around in the darkness is futile, it is impossible to actually touch objects in the spiritual realm while living in the physical realm.  Information which describes how this narrow gate is found in the spiritual realm is based in the words of truth spoken by the Son of God; so first a decision must be made, which words are His and which are not.  Many believe that the Bible is the true word of God, that every word in the Bible was spoken directly to those who wrote them down.  What they refuse to see are the facts in this matter.  The Bible contains the words of God, but it is not the word of God from cover to cover.  Many will refuse to acknowledge this. They presume upon God to reward their great faith in His “holy word”.  The Law and Prophets (Old Testament) are the words of God.  God spoke to Moses at Mt.Sinai, giving him the Law (first five books).  I am sure from time to time that scribes updated information, such as place names and keeping the grammatical structure current.  One would think that God would take great care to insure that His spoken word was not changed by the scribes, who make copies of these texts through the years.


“How dare you say: We are wise and we possess the Law of God? But look how it has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes! (Jeremiah 8:8)



The above text states that God is angry with the scribes who have had the audacity to change His words in the Law.  So here is the question; how does one prove the belief that God has protected the Bible from errors, or even outright lies, if He Himself is angry about how His words have been changed in the Law?  God did not give us the Bible; it is a compilation, which has been canonized by man.  God did not give the first “Bible” to His disciples.  He gave them His testimony, His own words, and then commissioned them to go and proclaim His words to the world (see Matthew 28:19-21). It is only by these words that we are able to find the small gate, and see the narrow way.

At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So He called a little child to Him and set the child in front of them. Then He said, ‘ I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)


At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth for hiding these things from the learned and the cleaver and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:25-27)


These wide and narrow roads do not exist in the physical realm; you could spend your life searching the earth for the narrow gate, and you would never find it, because it only exists in the spiritual realm.  The narrow gate and the wide way are a spiritual reality.  The only way we may interact in the spiritual realm is through our consciousness-awareness.  As we dwell and interact in the physical realm with our physical body, so to do we dwell and interact in the spiritual realm with our mind; this is why it is so important that our mind is in harmony with God, who dwells in the spiritual realm.  The evil one has mastered (overcome, deceived) the whole world by manipulating the truth in the spiritual realm, then crossing this reality over into the physical realm. He maintains this carefully crafted realism through his agents.  These agents are very important to maintaining this reality, for if at any time their cover is blown, the whole spurious reality would be in danger of being exposed for the sham that it is.  The great deceiver has mastered the art of distorting the truth; he does this by using the truth to his advantage.  For instance, consider all the similarities in the various religious practices, similarities in “holy books”, and religious “scripture”. These similarities make the truth of none effect. How does one differentiate that which is truth from that which is a lie, when these spiritual writings are so similar in their paradigms?  The great deceiver uses mediums, prophets/seers, messengers, pastors, religious academics, evangelists, teachers, and anyone he chooses to affect and maintain his fraud on humankind; and most of those he uses have no idea they are being used by him.  The evil one has deceived the whole world (Isa. 14:12-17). He has done so by keeping the world in darkness, so they are unable to see their perilous condition.  The whole world (including the Christian world) is on the wide road, and in the end will arrive at their chosen destination, eternal death.  This is not where God wants His people to end. Therefore He sent His Son into the darkness of the wide road, to tell those on this road (who dwell in darkness) how to find the narrow gate – and follow the hard road that leads to the kingdom of God and eternal life.  The road is hard because the world hates those who expose this deception, and the sham of their reality.  Those who find the narrow gate and complete the hard road will bring about the end of the world.  Those who remain on the wide road will finally reach their destination.  The Son of God not only gave us the instructions on finding the narrow gate and following the hard road, He demonstrated what we must do to accomplish this, by doing it himself; therefore, what we must do is follow Him by example.


‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21)


The message to the assembly in Laodicea is timely and pertinent, and it is happening right now and will soon see fulfillment.  The Son of God promises a great reward to those who follow His example, who overcome in the same way He overcame. These people will be granted the same reward He received.  Those who complete all the requirements for righteousness, as demonstrated by their older Brother, will sit on the throne of God beside Him!


To transition from the wide road to the narrow gate requires all to become as a little child; not physically, but spiritually.  All who wish to enter by the narrow gate must confess their sin; that is, everything concerning their religious beliefs and practices, because it is this that has kept them on the wide road.  How will you find the narrow gate (remember this is spiritual not physical in nature)?


Jesus replied: I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God; what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit, Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’  (John 3:5-8)


Jesus was teaching Nicodemus how to find the narrow gate; a person must be born from above.  That which is born from below is physical, tangible, and it fades away.  That which is born from above is spiritual; its substance is knowledge, which lasts forever.  The only way to enter this realm is through your mind.  Become as a little child, spiritually – then learn from your spiritual Mother, Father, and Brother, just as you would from your physical family.


All who wish to enter the kingdom of God must change their present condition. It does not matter what or how you believe about your spiritual reality right now; you must completely cast it off if you wish to find the narrow gate.  Sanctify your mind with the words of the testimony of the Son of God, and when your mind is sanctified your whole body with be clothed with righteousness. If you clean the inside, the outside will become clean also; when the mind is sanctified, so too the heart.


So Jesus spoke to them again; I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through Me will be safe; he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture.


We are not what we see when we look in the mirror. What we see is a reflection of our physical self, our body.  Who we really are is found inside, and is a manifestation of our consciousness-awareness.  Consciousness-awareness is our awareness of our existence in this life-reality.  On the sixth day of creation God made physical bodies of the people of the earth, in THEIR image and after THEIR likeness.  However, these bodies were unable to think, move, and interact, until God started the physiological processes that sustain and maintain life and consciousness.  That which began these physiological processes is described as the ‘breath-of-life’ from God.  When God “breathed” the breath-of-life into the bodies of earthly human-kind, they became conscious and aware of their surroundings, and of themselves.  They were then able to use their bodies to interact with their surroundings, and with their fellow human beings.  God did not program their minds with the knowledge they would need to live with and interact with the other human beings; nor, were they programmed with the knowledge they needed to sustain themselves on this world.  God sent them teachers/shepherds/watchers (as they have been variously known as) with the purpose of teaching human-kind all of the information and knowledge they would need to live on this earth.  With the information obtained from these heavenly beings, human-kind would be able to grow crops, build cities, travel to other areas, use math, algebra, and physics, to learn about their world and the universe in which they lived.  These teachers allowed their high standing among human-kind to affect their thoughts, ultimately devising a plan to take control of this world for themselves; they made themselves the gods whom the people of earth eventually came to worship. This was the pavement that began the wide road to destruction.  This is the why there is evidence of “ancient aliens” in the ancient past.  The story goes that these heavenly beings came down to the earth to save their own planet from certain destruction, and for this they needed gold, and they found it here.  So the lie started and has been growing and expanding ever since.  The only way to put an end to this lie is for human-kind to wake-up and learn from the only true God. The only way they can do this by studying the truth that the True God has given through His prophets and messengers.  The Law and prophets is confirmed and patented through the testimony of Jesus; therefore, those who enter the narrow gate do so by learning the testimony of Jesus.  Those who are born of the Spirit of Truth have these two qualities: they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).


It is now your decision, whether to remain as you are or become as little children.  The only way to find the narrow gate and take the hard way is to completely change your current spiritual condition and be born from above.


Rick Sterling








The Reason

by Rick Sterling

            The world is changing right before our eyes, and evil is gaining strength and influence.  The darkness is spreading across the earth, and few are aware of the gathering gloom.  Life goes on, children go to school, adults go to work, and families live out their lives as they have done for years.  The evil one prepares for war; his minions work in the darkness to carry out his will.  Some say he got a raw deal; he has been misrepresented, unfairly typecast as the villain, when all he has ever done is helped mankind see, and realize, their true potential.  God, he says, is the one who wants to prevent the acquisition and growth of knowledge.  He presents as evidence the tree of learning the knowledge of good and evil.  Only those who are not mastered by his words, not flattered by his compliments, not deceived by his lying tongue, will know the real truth.  It is only these few that will know that everything he says is a lie.  His lies are not only believable, but are preferred over truth.  Believers see no need to investigate the sources, facts, and evidence.  The sincere but ill advised believers think that all one truly needs to believe is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God; therefore there is no need for further investigation.

For thousands of years, God has waited for someone, anyone, to recognize the darkness and those that are living in it.  God has presented the truth in evidence before the court of world opinion, truth that is ignored, rejected, and ridiculed.  Those in the darkness believe with all their heart that they live in the light.  How is it possible for billions of people to be wrong?  The darkness is succeeding in its purpose; the whole world pays homage to it.  God sent His Son into the darkness to expose its heart, He did this by testifying to the truth.  By the light of His testimony he has condemned the darkness and all who knowingly and willingly choose to believe in it.  His testimony has been ignored, only to be replaced by a simpler, smoother, more inclusive gospel, the gospel of Saul/Paul.

I ask myself why, why do I continue hammering away at the darkness in an effort to expose it?  The answer; I continue because I love God, and want Him to have the victory He has waited for so long to accomplish.  Some may think that I am misguided in this. I do not have a degree in religion or theology; I don’t know Hebrew or Greek, so how am I qualified to represent the truth!  I love God, I believe what He says and I share His words with others.  I follow the way He has defined by word and example; that is all He has asked from anyone.  The Son of God said “follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Righteousness is the requirement for service in the kingdom of God.  The way to righteousness is not shut to those who are willing to participate in the sanctification process, which leads to holiness, which is a sacred state of being.  Holy means ‘set apart by God, for God’.  Inclusion in the group called “holy people”, simply means that all who are in this group are holy in fact.  Consecration to God is not bestowed as a gift; it is accomplished through a well defined process. During the sanctification process, it is mandatory to share with others the knowledge and understanding you gaining.  All who have made the commitment to learn the testimony of Jesus and keep His commandments, are His disciples.  The “great commission” (Matthew 28:18-20) given to the eleven, before their Master went to rejoin His Father in the heavens, applies to those who have answered the call to be “fishers of men”.

It has been more than two-thousand years since the testimony of Jesus was given, so how do we know that the accounts of record are what He actually said?  God will never require of you something that is impossible to do.  In The Revelation we are told that those at the end of days will have the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). We know also that this same testimony was the reason that John was on the isle of Patmos (Revelation 1:9).  It is also known that God’s words are not given “special” protection by God to insure that they are never changed (Jeremiah 8:8, 9).  God has informed us of the method by which He has preserved the truth; He has allowed lies to coexist with the truth until the end of days.  The parable of the wheat and tares describes how the “good” seed is left undisturbed by presence of the “bad” seeds.  The “good” seed represents the testimony of the Son of Man (see Matthew 13:18-23 and 36-43).  The “bad” seed represents the lying testimony of the evil one.  God has also given the chosen and faithful bondservants reassurance regarding the preservation of the truth (see Revelation 12:6, 14-16).  The Woman seen in Revelation 12 represents the Holy Spirit, who was sent here by the Father to continue the work of His Son (see John 16:4-15).  Clearly, the Son of God knew that His eleven disciples would not be the ones who would finish the work, as evidenced by His prayer in John 17 (see John 17:20-21).  He also made certain that the words they heard Him say would not be lost to them over time (see John 14:26).

Few of those that self-claim to be apostles, prophets, or messengers of God, are being truthful (Matt. 25: 4-5, 11).  The evil one has enjoyed certain undeniable success in winning over or co-opting these charlatans, who are now in a position to be widely accepted by gullible people merely on the strength of these claims.  The Son of God came to earth with the true words of life, given to Him by His Father, so it was not necessary for any additions to be given to those words at a later time.  ALL the information necessary for sanctification was given to us by the Son of the Living God, Jesus.  The eleven disciples were charged in the Great Commission with the responsibility of teaching the nations (Gentiles) the truth about salvation, just as they heard it from their Master, face to face and in the flesh.  Anyone that claims to have been personally called by God after Jesus ascended to His Father, who then claim to have been given a particular message by an angel or even Jesus Christ in dreams or visions, which does not keep within completely and perfectly within the boundaries of the testimony of Jesus, are liars (see second John).  All associates of these liars cannot be trusted either.


Revelation 2:2 (JB) I know all about you: how hard you work and how much you put up with. I know you cannot stand wicked men, and how you tested the imposters who called themselves apostles and proved they were liars.


A true apostle/prophet is validated by the message he/she proclaims.  If the message is in complete agreement with the testimony of Jesus (as He gave it to His own eyewitness disciples), then they are validated and verified as being a true apostle or prophet.  If their message varies in the least particular from this standard, then they are liars.  So investigating the testimony of all who claim to be apostles or prophets of Jesus is not an impossible task, neither is it optional.

I have had many discussions with people about topics from prophecy to salvation, and it is my observation that most people trust in their church to insure their salvation, because they belief in all sincerity that God will save them because He loves them unconditionally.  These people have been taught from the pulpit that salvation is a free gift to those whom God loves and who believe in Him; it is their assurance of eternal life.  This is a lie constructed and propagated by the Great Deceiver, and is proclaimed by his chosen apostle Saul/Paul.

If you are to ever find the truth about your own salvation you must ask the following question of the person (living or dead) that presents ANY concept of how salvation works, and then you must be humble enough to answer it truthfully; does this teaching on salvation stay within the boundaries of what the Son of God taught? If Jesus (Himself) did not teach it, then it is a lie, and should not be believed.


Matthew 5:17-19 (JB) ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.


What does Saul/Paul teach?


Romans 3:28 (JB)  Since, as we see it, a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the Law tells him to do.


In Romans 9:32, 33 Paul says the Ten Commandments are a stumbling stone; a stone that causes one to stumble, placed in your way by God.  Paul actually accuses God of deliberately placing a stumbling stone in Israel, the Ten Commandments. Read the second commandment, does it sound like God expects Israel to obey these commandments?


Deuteronomy 5:10 (JB) but I show kindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.


Deuteronomy 8:1 ‘All the commandments I enjoin on you today you must keep and observe so that you may live and increase in numbers and enter into the land that Yahweh promised on oath to your fathers, and make it your own.


The covenant, upon which the kingdom of God is established and functions is the Ten Commandments.  When the kingdom of God has finally completed their appointed work, the seventh trumpet will sound announcing this accomplishment.  When this takes place the temple in the heavens is opened and the Ark of His covenant is seen by all of humanity.  The most sacred text, the Ten Commandments, stands as a testimony to the truth.  The Revelation describes the two lasting characteristics of those who are the last offspring to be born of the Holy Spirit; those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, the Son of God.  Do your own research, check the facts, see if the words of those who claim to be apostles match the testimony of the Son of God.

My hope is to awaken people from this drug induced coma; a sleep brought on by the drug of faith, and when combined with amazing grace it gives a false sense of security,  peace, and assurance of salvation.  God great desire is to be known by His people.  Only by learning the truth are we able to know God.  We must humble ourselves and become as little children before we are able to begin this process of learning the truth.


Matthew 18:2-4 (NASB) And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you (are turned) and become like children you shall not enter the kingdom of the heavens. Whoever then humbles himself as this child he is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.”


If you are ready to make a commitment to obey God and become a member of His kingdom, these are the steps He has given for us to accomplish in order to enter the kingdom of God.


1. Wake up from this sleep that the evil one has brought upon the whole world. Recognize that we are in a spiritual darkness of night, and must follow the light of truth to the spiritual light of day.

2. Humble ourselves and become teachable, as teachable as little children; only then will we be able to take our first steps to the kingdom of light.

3. The curriculum has been established by God and revealed through His messengers, preserved in the Law and Prophets, and the testimony of Jesus.  The testimony of Jesus must come from those who actually heard His words with their own ears, and wrote down what they heard and saw. This disqualifies Luke’s and Saul/Paul’s accounts.

4. Water cleansing (baptism) cleanses the flesh.

5. Fire cleansing (sanctification/consecration) cleanses the consciousness/soul. Just as with every other element of the spiritual process and understanding, this is not a literal fire, it is a spiritual fire. The water cleansing is literal and cleanses the substance; the fire is spiritual and cleanses the soul.  Matthew 3:11-12 (JB) I baptize you in water for repentance, but the One who follows me is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to carry His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Everything and everyone on this earth will experience these two cleansings.  For the unrighteous this means eternal death; but for the righteous it means eternal life; for death is ultimately, and completely, consumed by fire, in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14).

6. All who are on their way to the kingdom of God must help others to wake up by sharing with them the truth they themselves have learned and are learning.

7. All must keep the covenant (Ten Commandments) and hold to the testimony of the Son of God (Revelation 12:17).

8. Pray for strength to overcome the evil one, to resist temptations and reveal deceptions.

9. Have reverence for that which is sacred.

10. Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.

There are three separate parts in the time of judgment.  The first is the preparation of those who will be the 144,000, and ends when their Master comes like a thief in the night.  Note this coming takes place during the time of spiritual darkness.  They are sealed and go to awaken the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 24:42-51; 25:1-13; Revelation 3:7-13; 7:1-3; 14:1-5).  After this the censer is cast down and the seven angels prepare to blow their trumpets.  During the time of the successive blowing of the seven trumpets, the judgment of the nations takes place (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:9-14; 11:2; 14:6-7; 15; 2-4).  The 144,000 are the priests.  The bridesmaids are the kingdom of the heavens, and the five wise represent those who will enter the kingdom of God.  The third group is not a symbolic representation; it is literally every one alive at the time of the end.  In Revelation chapter seven these people are denoted as a multitude that no one is able to count. God does not limit this group to any specific number, so no one can say that God has predetermined the number of those who will not worship the beast or his image or receive his mark.  God desires to save every one of those who were created in their image and after their likeness.


The Reason

          Our God is waiting at the door with words of truth, and He is asking you to let Him come in.  He is patiently waiting for you to open the door and invite Him in.  His words are different than those that you are used to hearing, because they are not lies.  The lies in our hearts are the reason He is outside the door.  The Heisenberg Principle in the physical universe says that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. This is also true for truth and lies; they cannot cohabitate the same spiritual dwelling place, just as light and darkness do not exist together.  No one should be embarrassed about their current condition, because everyone that lives in the kingdom of the world has (by definition) made darkness their dwelling.  Only those who refuse to wake up to the fact they believe, practice, and worship lies will, in the end, be ashamed and embarrassed.  All who continue in darkness will ultimately be consumed by fire; that is the second death.

The responsibility for your eternal life or eternal death rests with you; the decisions you make will determine your eternal outcome.  Our accountability also extends to those around us, as well. It is what we choose to do with our knowledge and understanding that will be adjudicated by the heavenly court; therefore, we must first realize that we are in darkness and then begin the sanctification process, in order to be able to help others find their way to salvation. Doing this is the mark of true humility, and true sacrifice.


Matthew 15:13-14 (JB) He replied, ‘Any plant my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them alone. They are blind men leading blind men; and if one blind man leads another, both will fall into a pit.’


Open your eyes and see the true light.  Follow the true light to eternal life.


Rick Sterling

Escape From Darkness, by Rick Sterling

There are two cosmic forces preparing for a great war, and this conflict will determine the outcome for the souls of mankind.  The people of God are on one side, and the people of the ruler of the world are on the other. Satan is the ruler of the kingdom of darkness (the world) and is supported and maintained through lies and deceptions.  He and his kingdom will finally be destroyed, and with it all who have willingly chosen to hold fast to his lies.  The great deceiver has so completely fooled the people of the world that they see light as darkness and darkness as light.  None of those who have been deceived recognize that they have been duped.

Matthew 6:22-23(TJB) – ‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkness, what darkness that will be

The ruler of this world has successfully subdued the nations (Isa. 14:12).  He is in full control of all religious systems, banking/monetary systems, and governments.  Some may dismiss this statement as a broad generalization, but it is supported by scripture.

Revelation 12:9(TJB) – The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had deceived all the world, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him.

If your church teaches anything different than the testimony of Jesus (see 2nd John), then it is a construct of the great deceiver.  Many self proclaimed apostles and prophets, both men and women, have come and gone since the Son of God delivered His testimony; all were constructs of the great deceiver.

The testimony of the Son of God included information concerning the appearance of an “Elijah” type prophet (Matthew 17:9-13).  This person is described as being ‘faithful and wise’ such that the master is able to place him over His household, to give them their food at the proper time (Matthew 24:45).  The religious leaders in Jerusalem in Jesus’ day were looking for “Elijah the prophet” to appear prior to the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:23). They did not recognize John the Baptist as the fulfillment of this prophecy, because he didn’t fit their paradigm, upon which their expectations as to whom this person was based. These religious leaders had been deceived by the prince of darkness.

When those in the darkness see the light they do not recognize it for what it is; because they have been deceived by the darkness.  The great deceiver pulls the ultimate bait and switch scam; he cleverly substitutes his darkness for God’s light.  The evidence of this is demonstrated by the fact that he has managed to fool the whole of mankind.  There is a consistent pattern that herein is seen, and is demonstrated throughout history, and is true even today; as go the religious leaders so go the people (or should I say, sheeple).  The great deceiver knows this, and makes great effort and goes to great expense to win the confidence and thereby deceive the leadership of the ‘church’; the priests, pastors, and theologians, and thus gain control the people.

The last time the disciples saw their Master was at the Sea of Galilee.  When His disciples saw Him they fell down before Him, though some hesitated (Matthew 28:17).  The Son of God had not fully convinced all of His own disciples that He truly was the Messiah.  Some still had doubts. It is apparent that the work of the great deceiver had caused some among the twelve to question their association with this man, and what He taught. The great deceiver’s influential words had placed elements of doubt in the minds of some of the twelve disciples. We must never under estimate the deceiving power of the evil one, because he has been successfully in deceiving mankind for tens of thousands of years.  He has portrayed himself as the benefactor of mankind, when in fact he is their worst enemy.

Many time I have heard people say, “If I had been there, I would, or would not have…”: they would not have eaten from the forbidden tree; they would have been on the ark; they would have obeyed God by listening to His prophets; they would have been a follower of Jesus, not leaving Him at His arrest, or Crucifixion; they would believe in His resurrection; and so on.  Too many times we say to ourselves, “If I had it to do all over again and knowing what I know now, I would have done some things a little differently”.  Hind sight is always 20/20.

Matthew 23:28(TJB) ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who build the sepulchers of the prophets and decorated the tombs of holy men, saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day”. So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then finish off the work that your fathers began.

Looking back at these scribes and Pharisees we recognize them as evil; but to the people of that day they were holy men, men of God, and worthy of respect.  These men had memorized the Law and Prophets, yet it was their understanding of these words that brought them into conflict with the God who spoke to Moses and the prophets.  You may ask, “How could this happen?” The answer is that the great deceiver had successfully fooled them. They were looking for “Elijah the prophet”, yet he came and they did not recognize him.  They were looking for a great warrior prince (Messiah), who would throw off the yoke of the Romans and elevate them to prominence in the world.  They never expected, nor wanted, a humble nobody who spent time with tax collectors and sinners.  They rejected, ridiculed, derided, and condemned the One for whom they had been waiting.

The Jews were the people that were called by God to be His kingdom.  The time specified for their preparation and accomplishment of their God given mandate had arrived. They were expected to be a holy nation, ready to welcome their righteous king; but their religious leaders had been thoroughly deceived.  This deception had been accomplished in the wilderness at Mt.Horeb, when the high priest made a golden calf.  Yes, there were times when Israel obeyed, but more often than not they forgot all about the God of their fathers.  The Son of God came to them when their time had all but run out.  He tried to tell them what they needed to do to receive what they had been expecting, but His words were foreign to them.  I believe that if the religious leaders had accepted Him as the One for whom they had been waiting, the people would have received Him as well.

The whole world is now in spiritual darkness, created and maintained by the prince of darkness.  If you say you are not in darkness then he already is your master.  There is only one way out of the darkness and that is the way designated by the Son of God, a light that illuminates the path we must travel.  He walked that way before us to show each step along the way, and if we are to overcome as did He (Rev. 3:21) we must follow in His footsteps.  He entered the darkness of this world and the world hated Him, because He is light; light is the enemy of the darkness.  All who walk along the way He described will be despised and rejected by those in the darkness.  They will be called the enemies of God, blasphemers who are working with the devil.

John 15:18-19(TJB) –  ‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you form the world therefore the world hates you.

John 12:44-50(TJB) – Jesus declared publicly: ‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me, sees the One who sent me. I, the light, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in me need not stay in the dark any more. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I have come not to condemn the world, but to save the world; he who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already; the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.’

It is the words of Jesus, His testimony, which will determine the outcome of the judgment of the world.  It stands to reason then that it would be these very words that the great deceiver would counterfeit; and indeed, that is exactly what he did.

Matthew 13:24-30(TJB) – He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel, all among the wheat, and made off.  When the new wheat sprouted and ripened the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” Some enemy has done this he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”

The good seed is the testimony of the Son of Man (Jesus).  The weed seed is the testimony of the devil, masquerading as the testimony of Jesus.  Remember in the previous text, Jesus said: “…Anyone who refuses MY words has been judged already”.

Near the end of the first century, John was very concerned.  His concern was that the words of his Master would be lost forever, by being overwhelmed by the words of imposters posing as apostles of Jesus.  In his second letter, John shows this valid concern by saying: “Any teaching that does not stay within the boundaries of what Christ taught, but goes beyond it is lying” (see second John).  The Son of Man also gave a warning about false apostles in The Revelation given to John.

Revelation 2:2(TJB) I know all about you; how hard you work and how much you put up with. I know you cannot stand wicked men, and how you tested the impostors who called themselves apostles and proved they were liars.

The Great Deceiver has called his own apostle (apostles), and gave him a message that matched what most of the world wanted to hear; that is, that they could have their cake and eat it too.  The world wants to believe that they can be saved without obedience to God’s law; this is called ‘grace’.  It is almost unthinkable, but the most beloved and well known apostle of all time is actually the agent of the enemy.  For the sake of believability Saul was renamed Paul, who was a Roman citizen, who was also a lowly tailor/tent maker.  He was a zealot for the religious laws of Israel, and became a high profile persecutor of the Way. He had a working knowledge of the Law and Prophets, and was gifted (as were most Pharisees) in spinning the scriptures to mean something other than that of the original context.  Paul could change words here and there without causing any questions among his gentile converts, because they had little or no knowledge of the scriptures of the Jewish religion.

The great deceiver knew that the Jews were no longer God’s kingdom.  The King of the Kingdom of the Heavens (Jesus, the Son of God) had taken the responsibility of building His Kingdom away from them and given it to anyone (Jew or Gentile alike) who would willing to meet the requirements for entrance into that Kingdom (Matt.21:43).  While these pilgrims are on their way to the Kingdom of God, they invite others to join them.  By this process the kingdom of God is filled with holy people (saints).  The ruler of the world does not want to lose any of his people to the Kingdom of God, so he designed a deception insuring they would choose to stay in darkness.

You must first come to the understanding that you are in darkness before you will be able to leave it.  The question then is this: If you believe truly believe you are not in darkness are you willing to wait until the judgment before you know for sure?  If you are ready to admit that you ARE living in darkness you must then make the time and go to the great effort to find the way out of the darkness of lies into the light of truth. To accomplish this you must learn the way to the light; and the ONLY reliable source for the TRUTH are the words of the Son of Man, Jesus the Christ,  as recorded by His eyewitness disciples Matthew and John. Mark has also given a trustworthy account, borne out by its agreement with Matthew and John.  Luke was not a disciple, he does not name his sources, and his account is contradictory to that of the eyewitnesses. It is, however, consistent in its support of Pauline salvation theology.  The darkness in which we find ourselves is a darkness that not only surrounds us, but is in us.

Here is the crux of the matter; that which we have learned and come to believe is in our mind and heart.  If our mind and heart is a home to lies, it is filled with darkness.  Light and darkness will not live together in the Kingdom of God. Therefore, there will be no darkness in the Kingdom of Light, and no darkness among the holy people.  Spiritual darkness will not be found in the earth made anew.  We must humble ourselves, acknowledge that we have been deceived by the darkness, and make the commitment that the darkness will deceive us no longer.  The Son of God came to set the captives free, and those in darkness have seen a great light; but they did not recognize it.  His words were foreign to them, His teaching unrecognizable, because while not impossible they were unthinkable to those who loved darkness rather than light. The words that would set them free were insults to their understanding. They chose to remain in captivity, and the prince of darkness was triumphant.  We have the same mandate today as they had then; we have access to the same words which can set us free from the darkness of sin, as did they.  We are not there, in that time, but we are here now, today. If you have ever said that you would have listened to His words had you been there, that you would have believed His message and followed Him, then to prove this assertion you must come to recognize that the words that Jesus spoke to His own disciples then are the same that He is speaking to you today. The proof of your belief can be found ONLY in His words/testimony, and you must learn to obey them.  Now is the time to show what you would have done if you had been there.

John 8:31-32(TJB) “If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free’.

Here follows the great commission given to every disciple of the Son of God

Matthew 28:18-20(TJB) Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes to the end of time.’

Learn His word, follow His testimony, and you will leave the darkness and experience the joy of life, living in the light of truth.

Rick Sterling








Words of Death, Words of Life, by Rick Sterling

The rebellion began a very long time ago. The instigator was a very powerful, intelligent, and brilliantly cunning, being. There is some evidence that indicates that he was, quite possibly, the first created being. This insurrection was effected and accomplished with words; words that were well thought out, words that would promise but only seem to deliver, using requirements that were accommodating, even negotiable.

This deception was successful among heavenly beings, as well as mankind. Lying words and false promises, brilliantly used through circular reasoning-this is how the serpent, the master of deception, accomplished his purpose. With venomous words he caused doubt, and questions to arise, questions regarding the Law of God and His right to rule, with the accusation that God may very well be hiding the whole truth in an effort to remain in control of creation.

The serpent used venomous words to cause doubt and questions to arise, and used these as the foundation of his kingdom; after all, when your realm is built upon lies, facades, and deceptions, venomous words are all you have. His venom causes a change in the intellect, numbing the senses to truth and light. In fact, those beings bitten by this serpent, and injected with this venom, are convinced their reality is what they believe it to be, not what it really is. They are certain they dwell in light, when in fact they live in darkness. They proclaim, and without a doubt they believe, that they practice and worship the truth, and are not and cannot be deceived. They firmly believe that they would never practice a lie; and yet, they are doing just that. They believe that death is life (Gal. 2:19,20, Rom 6:7-8, Rom 7:6,9, Col. 3:3), and life is death (Rom. 6:8). They believe that God is the devil, and the devil is God. Remember, this is the “truth” of the lie believed by those who are being deceived. The evil one has created a virtual reality, a virtual world enjoyed by all he has bitten. This venom is the key to maintaining his virtual world. The ONLY anti-venom that will save all those afflicted are the words of truth, the words that are the testimony of Jesus, recorded by those who heard them first hand, while they followed Him throughout His ministry here on earth.

John 3:11-15 (NASB) “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and you do not receive our witness. “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things? “And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.

When you read these verses do you know the truth the Son of Man is conveying? What you see depends upon your reality. The virtual reality, experienced by those who suffer from the effects of the venom of the ancient serpent, see a wonderful expression of unconditional love, a free gift of life given to those who behold their beloved Savior hanging there on the cross; having given His life for their sins. This reality states that all that is required now is to believe in Him. Yet the actual reality of the truth is not to believe IN Him, but believe Him. And this belief is based in HIS words. We must learn the words of His testimony and put them into practice. The Son of Man uses this example to demonstrate the truth that all mankind has been injected with the venom of the ancient serpent; without the administration of His anti-venom, death will be the outcome. The anti-venom is the words of truth, the testimony of Jesus the Son of Man/Son of God.

The truth of what the Son of God is explaining to Nicodemus is that no one from earth has gone up into the heavens to see and hear the words of truth in the presence of God. The only one who can rightly claim to have received the testimony of truth from God is the One who has lived in the presence of God and received the words of God from Him directly. And after receiving these words this ONE left the heavens and came to the earth to proclaim these very words He had been given. But as the Son of God acknowledged to Nicodemus, you (religious leaders) do not receive our (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) testimony.

The ability to recognize truth is greatly affected by the venom of the serpent. Much like the inebriating effects of an alcoholic beverage, the venom numbs the senses to certain elements that would otherwise alert a person to the beginning of an expected event; a prophetic expectation that is missed because certain elements have been misinterpreted and/or overlooked. These elements are missed because the venom also distorts the reality of the prophetic symbols and expectations. It is no secret that the religious leaders of Israel, who were well versed in the messianic prophecies, misunderstood very important elements of these prophecies, thereby giving substantive support and validation to their rejecting of, plotting against, and ultimate execution of their Messiah (see Matthew 17:9-12). Today, the net effect of this is same kind of misunderstanding of prophecy is that there are many, varied and confusing interpretations of “end-time” prophecies, to the point that most people chose to ignore them, or see them as completely spiritual in application, without any literal consequences.

God begins the year at the time of the spring equinox, in the northern hemisphere. He has authority to do this because He created the clock that keeps time, in this world where time has relevance (see Genesis 1:14). This clock has four moving parts, moving in respect to their relationship to each other; the sun, moon, earth, and stars. In Israel, there were three main religious festivals, Passover, Weeks, Atonement. Passover began the process of purification, and Atonement concluded it. It was not God’s expectation that this would go on year, after year, after year, forever. God’s expectation was to perfect a righteous kingdom, after which He would come down from the heavens and sit upon His throne in the temple, and then work to spread the truth throughout the world. When all the people of the world had made their decision as to whom they would worship God would sit in the seat of judgment and destroy the wicked. The people of these two realms would have made an informed choice, based upon what they chose to believe, and whom they chose to worship. The righteous would be righteous in fact (in deeds); and the wicked would be wicked in fact. The process by which this would be accomplished was demonstrated through the activities of the sanctuary, throughout the year. The topic of the sanctuary is a topic for another article.

It was the time of the third great feast of that year, the year of the testimony of the Son of Man. Up to that time His teaching had produced much interest; but few results. There was more respect and honor shown to Him from His few pagan/gentile contacts than from His own people. There was the healing of the centurions servant (Matthew 8), the Canaanite woman, from the region of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15), and the woman of Samaria (John 4).

John 7:37-39 (NASB) Now on the last day, the great day of the feast. Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, and the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”

The time (duration) of the testimony of the Son of Man was about to be completed; within six months He would be executed, placed in a tomb, rise from the dead, and ascend back to His Father. His hope and desire that He could bring Israel back to God (Dan. 9:24) was rapidly losing out to reality, and He knew what He would have to do; He would have to take the kingdom of God away from the Jews and offer it to any and all who would meet the requirements to enter His Kingdom. He clearly spelled out these requirements in His testimony. Those who would take the time to learn His testimony would be sanctified/consecrated by the words of truth. These words of truth would find a place in their hearts and minds, and then these principles would be practiced in the lives of the people of the Kingdom of God; only then would God have a righteousness people on the earth. Of necessity there would have to be a significant change away from the original plan wherein Israel was the Kingdom of God on earth; and that is that the Messiah would not make His throne (His dwelling place) in Jerusalem. Jesus came to His people, and His people rejected Him; they did this two times. He therefore had to return to the heavens, where He would work through the efforts of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the requirements of restoration in His final Kingdom (Dan. 2:44-45). This righteous Kingdom will be taken to the heavens after the great tribulation. The great tribulation begins with the casting down of the censer, runs through the seven trumpets and six bowls, and concluding with the coming in the clouds of the Son of Man.

The Feast of Booths was at hand. Jesus was there, and this was the half way point of the festival year of Israel, and of the ministry of Jesus on earth. The Son of Man stood up on the last day of the great feast, it was the twenty-first day of the seventh month. Those present at this great feast may have been thinking to themselves, or saying to their friends or family, “There goes that guy again, making foolish statements which no one listens to anyway!”

John 7:37-39 (NASB) Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The fiery serpent had injected his venom over and over throughout the generations in Israel. They were near death, and totally unaware of this fact; the venom had been very successful in effecting the perception of truth and the expectation of Israel. All they needed to do was to believe the words of the Messiah and they would have been inoculated against this venom. But the venom was too potent, and they succumbed to it’s toxin. My concern today is that I see the same effect among those who attest to a belief in “their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”, without knowledge of His testimony.

The Christian complains, “How could the Jews have rejected their Messiah? If I had been there among them I would have followed Jesus, I would have stood up for Him, I would not have fled when He was arrested!” But in point of fact you were not there, you are here, and you now have the same opportunity today (as they did then) to demonstrate what you will do, and yet, like them, you refuse to stand upon the testimony of Jesus. The venom of the fiery serpent is very powerful, it’s effect is to make you see the truth as a lie, darkness as light, the wide road as the narrow way, judgment as allegory, law as an ideal more than a requirement, and the certainty of salvation as a function of the unconditional love of God. Believing in the words of the Son of God is truly believing in Him. Learn from the testimony of His disciples, Matthew, Mark (writing for Peter), and John; no other New Testament writers can be trusted to tell the truth.

When the children of Israel refused to enter the promised land, the Lord God sent fiery serpents to bite them. They cried out in their distress and the Lord God heard them. None of those who had refused to enter the promised land the first time ever entered it, they all died in the wilderness. The promised land is the earth made anew, and only the righteous will live to enter it. Time is running out very quickly. Only those who are willing to learn the testimony of Jesus and keep the commandments of God (Rev. 12:17) will be healed from the effects of the venom of the fiery serpent; that bright shinning one, who was called Lucifer. He is master of magic, deception, and fraud. He is the prince of darkness, and uses his best efforts to maintain the darkness using all the crafts he has mastered. Please look to the one who has shown the way to the kingdom of light and healing and will give you eternal life.

Rick Sterling

Outer Darkness, by Rick Sterling

When I write an article, I try to pick a topic that is important and useful to the reader. I understand that topics of doom and gloom, or judgment and death, are not topics that garner much interest because most people shy away from subjects they would rather not think about. I have always been of this opinion; learn what you need to know for your salvation and put it into practice, then the dreadful judgments of God will not affect you. Subjects such as ‘the outer darkness’, ‘bowls of wrath’, and the ‘lake of fire’ are not necessarily stepping stones or waypoints to follow to the kingdom of God. On the other hand, if it were not important for us to know about the judgments, then God would have omitted this information from His testimony.
Have you ever asked yourself this question; who exactly are the wicked, or what makes one wicked? In Noah’s day the wickedness of mankind had come to the point where there thoughts and actions were evil continually. They were beyond the reach of salvation, therefore they were all destroyed in the great flood. Noah was the only righteous person left in that generation. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire from the heavens, because of their great wickedness. Lot and his daughters were the only survivors, of this destruction, and they survived because of they were forewarned to leave the city, and they left. The experts on the Law, the scribes and Pharisees, willfully rejected the testimony of the Son of God, because what Jesus said was not in alignment with their preferred theology. The Son of God told them they were wicked and they scoffed at Him; they just ‘knew’ that they were righteous and that He was full of sin, and that He was working for Satan.
There are two conditions that need to be realized before the dreadful judgments of God are “poured out”. The first condition is that of the Antediluvian world and the inhabitants of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain. This is the condition where the wickedness has completely taken control of the heart and mind of every inhabitant. With their hearts perfectly hardened to righteousness there was no other alternative for them but for their total and complete destruction. The second condition is where all inhabitants of earth have had an opportunity to choose between the truth and righteousness, or lies and wickedness. The Son of God began the process for the final judgment when He personally testified to the truth. When He returned to His Father He commanded His disciples to teach the people of the world to obey all that He had commanded (Matt. 28:19-20).
The evil one may have had his own judgment sealed but he has not been thwarted in his efforts to deceive mankind. The Son of God told a parable about a sower who sowed good seed (wheat) in His field and then left. Shortly thereafter an enemy scattered darnel seeds among the wheat. Both were allowed to grow together, thus protecting the wheat from being uprooted along with the darnel. The time of the harvest is the end of days. The darnel was gathered first, bundled together and piled up to be burned; the wheat was gathered into the barns. In this parable the pile of darnel represented the wicked who are IN the Kingdom of the Heavens. In other parables there are similar comparisons: the five foolish bridesmaids; the unclean fish, in the dragnet; the guest without the marriage garment. All represent those who answered the invitation to enter the Kingdom, but lack the required qualities.
There are three separate issues that come before a final judgment. The first is the judgment of the trustworthy and sensible bondservant (Matthew 24:42-51). This involves those who serve in the household of the King, the Son of God. The aforementioned servant is at work feeding his fellow servants their food that will prepare them for what will follow soon after. The servant is judged upon his patient endurance and faithfulness, faithfulness to his Master, and to his fellow servants. If this bondservant is trustworthy, the outcome of this judgment for the head of the house is that he will be put in charge over everything God owns. However, if he is untrustworthy he is assigned a place with the hypocrites in the outer darkness. This servant (and his fellow servants) are the group identified as 144,000; they are described in Revelation chapters 3 – in the message to Philadelphia; and in chapters 7; and 14. The second issue involves the Kingdom of the Heavens. The account of the bridesmaids, and related parables, describes the important of being ready to enter the marriage feast. There is a huge difference between saying you are ready, and actually being ready. The foolish bridesmaids said they were ready; they had their lamps so what more did they need? Oil. The foolish bridesmaids were not allowed to enter the marriage feast, and were cast out into the outer darkness. The third issue is the judgment of the world/nations. This takes place during the six trumpets, and concludes with the sound of the seventh trumpet. The outcome of this issue for those who did not receive the mark of the beast, or worship his image, is to be taken into the heavens, where they are shown as standing around the “sea of glass” before the throne of God. Those who worshiped the beast and received his mark will experience the judgments of the seven bowls of the wrath of the Almighty.
A significant fact stands out in all of this: time and time again throughout history the majority of religious leaders, priests, pastors, theologians, evangelists, and scholars, have chosen the side of darkness, the odds are high, that this will continue in the last days. The Son of God has revealed though His testimony that the true witness, this trustworthy and sensible bondservant who will begin the work that will result in the restoration of God’s glory throughout the whole world, is one person, and individual, and can be compared to one such as the prophet Elijah. The Son of God called the religious leaders of His day, hypocrites. A hypocrite is a professional actor, and is an expert in their profession. Religious hypocrites are in the darkness, and unless they leave their profession, they will never get out of the dark. ALL religious practice of ALL religions maintains this darkness. These religions maintain the darkness by insuring that all worshipers practice faith. Faith is the universal requirement of ALL religions because faith allows you to believe a lie, because lies are darkness; after all, what is faith if not believing in that which you cannot see. There is only one condition in which you cannot see, and that is darkness. If you are worshiping in faith, by faith, you are (by definition) in darkness. Most Christians believe that God will reward their faith, but this is just not so. God rewards faithfulness; and faithfulness/trustworthiness is not the same as faith/belief. Faithfulness to God is the continuing practice of righteousness. Think about it. Faith allows you to believe, worship, and practice a lie, with the assurance that you will not be held accountable at the judgment. By this kind of faith you can believe that your faith will allow you to circumvent judgment and pass through into the kingdom of God.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that some think right, but it leads in the end to death.

Matthew 7:21-23 It is not those who say to me “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you who practice lawlessness!”

My purpose in sharing this information with you is to tell you that God is the great, honest, and righteous judge. And make no mistake He is a judge, and He will pass judgment in the future, just as He has in the past. The words of the Evil One continue to echo from the Garden of the Paradise of God, these words of the ancient serpent continue to hiss this bald faced lie to the world today just as they did then; “If you disobey God, He will not put you to death”. It is of utmost importance that we are not fooled by the words of the ancient serpent; God gives life and God takes life. History testifies to the fact that it is the righteous that are allowed to continue to have life when the judgments of God are poured out on the sons of man. God has shown us the way to righteousness, through the witness and testimony of His Son. We must learn from His example and live according to the words of His testimony; because time is fast running out!

Rick Sterling

True Praise, by Rick Sterling

I have always had a love for music. I play the trumpet and guitar, have sung in choirs and chorales, and have written many songs. There are songs that bring to mind memories of events from long ago, as clear as if it happened only a few days ago. Other songs have brought on feelings of joy or sadness. Music has an important place in the church service, it is an opportunity to sing praises or songs of worship honoring God. I have observed people during song services, to see how they respond to the different types of music; praise, gospel, worship, and classical. Lately I have asked myself; are these songs praising God for something He has not done, or for something He would never think to do? If so, wouldn’t that be mocking Him. Songs of praise honor God only when the words express the truth in their praise. It is important for us to know the truth about God before we give Him praise with our voice for something that may not be true.
It has come to my attention that much of what Christians believe to be true about God is based on teachings that are at variance with the testimony of the Son of Man. Therefore some of their worship is based on a teaching that the Son of God never spoke, and their praise is in response to this same unsupported belief. These songs of praise are all based upon the lies they have been taught to believe and worship. Most Christians think that God will accept well-intended praise, even if it isn’t truth; its the thought that counts, right? My understanding of what God accepts and expects is that praise springs forth from the root of truth, therefore you must know the truth before you are able to offer true praise. Praise that is not built upon truth is not praise to God at all, it is praise to the father of fables and lies. These kind of songs praise the evil one and extol his gospel message. I am sure the evil one revels in this praise, and taunts God with this fact, the fact that his gospel has replaced the true gospel of the kingdom, because it is the desire of every Christian heart.

Isaiah 29:13 Yahweh has said; Because this people approaches me only in words, honors me only with lip-service while its heart is far from me, and my religion, as far as it is concerned, is nothing but human commandment, a lesson memorized very well, I shall have to go on being prodigal of prodigious prodigies with this people.

Matthew records that the Son of God applied this prophecy to the religious leaders at the time of His ministry, as well as those in the days of Isaiah (see Matthew 15:7-9). The evil one cares not who you believe you are worshiping or praising, he knows that if you are a believer of his lies, you are praising him, alleluia amen! God has not purposed that you remain under a deception. He will not leave you in darkness to practice the deeds of darkness; but you must wake-up to the fact that you are practicing a lie, this is extremely difficult for most to do, the fact is, it borders on the impossible.

I am puzzled by the description of the attitude of some of the disciples toward their Master. They spent a whole year with Him, rarely if ever leaving His company, and yet they never really came to believe in Him, let alone accept what He was teaching.
John 7:59-65 He taught this doctrine at Capernaum in the synagogue. After hearing it, many of his followers said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it? Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? ‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. ‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew form the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him.


Matthew 28:26-27 Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated.

These are just a couple of texts that describe a reluctance on the part of some of the disciples to “believe in their Master”.

It is of utmost importance to learn the truth from God, and God alone; the testimony of the word of truth that God the Father gave to His Son. The words are the seeds He planted and those words are found only in the writings of His disciples, Matthew and John (Mark was not a disciple but associated with the disciples. I believe that Mark’s writing is trustworthy, except for the last part of the last chapter[verses 9-20] they were added later). We must eat the testimony of the Son of Man before we will be able to worship and praise God in spirit and in truth. True worship is the fountain of true praise, the heart springs forth with words and songs of praise that originate from the well of truth and a full knowledge of the true God. We must humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are living in darkness, a darkness that has kept us from knowing and understanding the truth. We must learn from the Spirit of Truth through the words of testimony given by Her Son. We must humble ourselves and learn the testimony of the Son of Man, from the Master teacher, the Spirit of Truth, and She will lead us into all truth.

Matthew 11:28-30 ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentile and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls! Yes my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Jeremiah 9:22-24 Thus says Yahweh, ‘Let the sage boast no more of his wisdom, nor the valiant of his valour, not the rich man of his riches! But if anyone wants to boast let him boast of this; of understanding and knowing me. For I am Yahweh, I rule with kindness, justice and integrity on earth; yes these are what please me -it is Yahweh who speaks.

Find truth and you will find peace, a peace that passes understanding, and you will find rest for your soul. It is only then that you will be able to declare with truth, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”! Amen.

Rick Sterling

The Testimony of Truth, by Rick Sterling

The Testimony of Truth, by Rick Sterling

Imagine a sower going out to sow… The kingdom of the heavens may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field… As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path… Others fell on patches of rock… Others fell among thorns… Others fell on rich soil… The sower went away; while everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.
Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us’. Then the disciples went up to him and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.
‘It (the kingdom) is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them… “Sir,” said he “ I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid… For to everyone who has will be given more and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away…
The above are excerpts taken from Matthew chapters 13 and 25. The reader is strongly encouraged to read these in their entirety and in their context. May God bless you and give you enlightenment as you read.

The Son of God came to this earth for one specific purpose, to sow seed; the seed He sowed were His words, His testimony. The Son of God plainly stated that the words were not His alone, they were given to Him by His Father. His Father is God, the creator of heaven and earth. When the Son of God returns to this earth it won’t be for the purpose of sowing more seed, but to reap the harvest of the seed He sowed almost two-thousand years ago.

John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

The Son of God is a king; He is the king of the kingdom of God; the kingdom of truth; all who are of the truth hear His voice/words.

John 8:43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.

The Son of God was speaking to the religious leaders/theologians when He made this statement, shouldn’t they have been the ones who would recognize Him; indeed, if they had known the truth, they would have recognized Him. They had been mastered by a lie, a lie of their own creation, passed down from their fathers, generation after generation. Who was the originator, the instigator of this knowledge; the one responsible for this was none other than the devil, the great deceiver. The devil gives you what you want to believe, and helps you support it through lies and deceptions. The reason and purpose for the life and ministry of the Son of God was to testify to the truth. His words are the standard of truth; all other teachers/apostles teachings are to be compared to. Any person making claims for themselves, saying they have been “called or commissioned” to deliver a message from God the Almighty, must be held up to the standard of truth, the testimony of the Son of God; if their teaching differs, in even the minutest detail, it must be totally disregarded and thrown out completely. If you do this you will find that everyone who has come after the Son of God, claiming to be an apostle or prophet/prophetess, is a lying fraud. If you want to know the truth that leads to salvation and eternal life go no further than the words from His own disciples Matthew, Mark (writing for Peter), and John. Anyone else claiming God given authority to proclaim the good news of salvation is lying.
By eating the words of the Son of God you will become like Him, full of light and truth. By eating the words of the father of lies you will become like him and will receive his judgment; his judgment is the lake of fire, the second death. The words of the great deceiver are the darnel, they look like wheat, but they are not. When consumed, darnel gives a feeling of drunkenness, a false euphoria that numbs the senses and makes one feel that everything is alright; if it makes you feel good, it must be so!

When considering the parables of sowing seed together, we see a clear picture, that of the “sower” the “Son of Man”, who came from heaven, sowed the good seed; the testimony He received from His Father, then He went away for an extended period of time. He entrusted the care of the seed He planted to His disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20 All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes to the end of time.

John 17:20 I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me.

One thing I find absent from the commission recorded in Matthew, and the prayer in John, is the revelation of another message that was to be giving to another apostle; a message specifically designed for the pagans, who would be saved through a dialectic that had the appearance of authority, but lacked substance. The one who would deliver this message would claim it’s foundation was from long ago, as testified in the Law and Prophets. However, when this message is fully investigated it would be shown that it was only cleverly spun together, dissected threads of verses. When the parable of the sowing of seeds and darnel is examined it is clearly revealed that the devil moved in to sow the seeds among the wheat after the seeds of truth had been scattered. The last words written by John, the disciple of the Son of Man, are words of deep concern, concern that the testimony of his Master was in danger of being lost forever.

2 John 7-9 There are many deceivers about in the world refusing to admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist. Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and not get the reword it deserves. If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

John was concerned that the testimony of his Master would be lost, swept away by the plethora of lies gaining wide acceptance throughout the nations. The words of his Master must have been ringing in his ears; teach them to obey all the commands I have given you. John saw that these words of truth were in grave danger of being lost, forgotten forever.

The wheat and darnel were sown together in the same field, first the wheat than later the darnel, making it impossible to differentiate one from the other until the wheat would be ready for harvest. When the teaching of the Son of God is finally recognized as separate, unique, and the truth; which reveals the way to the kingdom of God and eternal life, than it is the time for the harvest. The words of the Sower clearly reveal the words of the enemy because the words of death are never the words of life, and will never be.

God has given us many wonderful qualities, but two of these qualities stand above all the others; the ability to learn, and the ability to choose. The ability to learn is clearly the most important of these two, because what we know affects the choices that we make. The choices we make determine the course of our lives; therefore it is most important to make sure that what we learn is the truth. What we learn is the foundation of our expectation. Our ability to recognize an event is greatly influenced by what we are expecting. God not only gives us reliable instruction, but gives us accurate revelation of future outcomes. The parables were not clever analogies or spiritual tales, they were revelations of future outcomes. The sower sowed seed, and went away with instruction to His servants care for His field until He returned. Two servants acted constructively on His instructions, one did not. When the Master returned it was harvest time and the darnel was harvested first, and put in piles to be burned. The wheat was placed in the barns (kingdom).

God is loving and just, His commands are righteous and just. God loves those who love Him and keep His commands. God’s love does not make Him impotent when it comes to obeying His commands. There is only one way to enter the kingdom of God, it is through the testimony of His only begotten Son.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

You determine what you learn, what you learn determines what you know. If what you know is a lie then it is worthless. You are what you have learned. If what you have learned is a lie then that is what you are. We have been given the opportunity to learn the truth, and it is up to us to take that opportunity and act on it. All of mankind is born into a world of lies. Every organized religious practice is full of lies and deceptions. It was because of lies that the Jewish religious leaders rejected the testimony of the Son of God, and with bold confidence pursued a course that would put an end to His testimony. It is most difficult to acknowledge the fact that we have been participating in a cleverly constructed matrix of lies made to appear as truth. This matrix has existed for many millenniums, it has existed for so long no one thinks to question it. The Son of God exposed it and only a handful of people believed Him. In order to see this, one must be honest with themselves. It is curious to me as why people can be honest with others, but not with themselves. An honest person never knowingly lies to others. A person who is honest with themselves would never knowingly believe a lie, nor would they lie to themselves. The great deceiver knows this, and has cunningly crafted a fraud which has enjoyed wide acceptance throughout Christianity; this fraud is faith. To pull off this slight-of-hand trick the devil took the words that God uses to convey what He expects from His people and shortened it in order to change its meaning; that word is faithfulness. The Devil removed the ‘fullness’ part from “Faithfulness”, which left ‘faith’. Satan has convinced those who profess a belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ that ‘faith’ is the key to the kingdom of God. They believe that Christ died for their personal sins, thereby granting them entrance into the kingdom through circumventing the Law of Ten Commands in favor of salvation by ‘faith’ through grace. The stronger their faith the more certain they are of their salvation. By this type of ‘faith’ one can believe that they can enter the kingdom without keeping the Ten Commandments. What they fail to understand is that by faith it is possible to believe a lie without knowing it. The really powerful part of this fraud is that the devil has convinced “Christians” that faith is the key to their salvation, and nothing else is needed. Therefore, it is only those with an abundance of faith who will enter the kingdom of God. In this way the Devil has convinced these “people of faith” , these ‘born-again’ Christians, that knowing the truth only serves to weaken their faith, and this is anathema to salvation in modern Christianity. Yet as we have seen, it is by faith that one can believe a lie as though it is truth, without accountability. Faith is the darnel, that deadly seed planted by the Devil in the same field sown by the Sower of Truth. Satan accomplished this great deception through his popular and much loved apostle, Paul. Paul is the apostle of faith. Before planting his darnel Satan waited patiently until the Sower of Truth had gone home to His Father. Satan, realizing that the original disciples of Jesus who were the leadership of the Jerusalem church (The Way) were slightly confused and uncertain about what they were to do next, and capitalizing on this uncertainty and sized control of the early church. He put James the brother of Jesus in charge of the Jewish side of the church, and put his own apostle Paul/Saul in charge of the pagan (Gentile)side of the church. He then put these two men in direct doctrinal conflict one with the other, knowing that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand; the net result of which was that the Law abiding portion of the church in Jerusalem faded into history, while the pagan/orthodox church experienced tremendous growth. Faith and lawlessness won out, and the truth went into the wilderness.

Revelation 12:5,6 The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert/wilderness, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty-days.

The sower, Son of Man, sowed the words of truth; the devil sowed lying words; words that could only be understood through faith. Faith brings on a false sense that the believer has nothing to fear or dread as long as they maintain their faith. They become intoxicated by faith and have no idea that they are on the road that leads to death. The only way for them to have a chance to enter the kingdom of God is to stop eating the darnel/lies, and eat the words of truth.

The French word for darnel is ivraie (from Latin ebriacus, intoxicated), which expresses that weed’s characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness, and can cause death. This characteristic is also alluded to in the scientific name (Latin temulentus = drunk). (Taken from wikipedia)

Revelation 2:2 I know all about you, how hard you work and how much you put up with. I know you cannot stand wicked men, and how you tested the impostors who called themselves apostles and proved they were liars.

God requires that His people know and practice the truth. God has given us the truth through the testimony of His Son. He has preserved the truth over the last two-thousand plus years, so that those who come at the end of time would be able to accomplish His plan of restoration. God has been waiting for a long time for someone, anyone, to wake-up in the darkness, and to make a commitment to Him and to themselves to search for the truth. When they find it they will see the light of dawn on the horizon, and they will walk toward it. They will learn more about truth along this pathway until they are in the full light of the day. Then they will become sons of the light and sons of the day; sons of the living God.

Rick Sterling

Covenant, by Rick Sterling


A covenant is a binding agreement between two or more parties/persons. A covenant requires specific performance or actions by those who are included in the covenant. There are two types of covenant that will be addressed in this article; one is the blood covenant; the other is a written document that requires a promise of performance. The blood covenant is best described as a birth, or new birth, this covenant involves the end of what you were and the start of what you have become. What this represents is passing through the blood of your mother in the birth canal; an example of this was when, on the night of passover, the Hebrews “passed through” the blood on the lintel and doorposts of the houses they were in on that night. The Hebrews were “born through blood”. On that night they ceased being slaves and became the people of the only true God. The expectation was that they would act in accordance with the will of God.

The Hebrews knew nothing about God; and there was nothing written down (no ‘Scripture‘) for them from which to learn about God. The only word they had was the promise made to their father Abram/Abraham, that they would receive and inhabit the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates; and I doubt that they were even aware of this promise. So the blood covenant represents a new beginning/birth.

The written covenant is entered through an agreement between those who want to be joined together in a consonant relationship; an example of this is the covenant of marriage. The marriage covenant is not a blood covenant, it is based upon a promise of performance. The blood covenant that God made with Abram (see Genesis 15) was indicative that God has now become the God of Abram; and God confirmed this Covenant by changing Abram’s name to Abraham. This Covenant now applied to Abraham and to his offspring after him-the Children of Abraham.
This promise contained conditions of performance (was not unconditional), in that it required the performance of obedience to the specified commands (commandments) of God. God entered into this blood covenant by passing through the carcasses of the animals Abram had killed and cut in half. The oven and torch were representative of God passing through the blood and becoming the God of Abraham. The covenant of circumcision, which came later, was a blood covenant and served as a sign of the blood covenant made with Abraham.

On the night of the Passover the Hebrews had a new beginning, in that they were about to realize the fulfillment of the promise made to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel. Their God had revealed the fact that they were more powerful than the gods of Egypt, through the demonstration of the ten plagues. In the wilderness God would give Israel the opportunity to agree to abide by all the requirements of the covenant which would join this people to their God. God would give them the truth concerning their God, and the expectation/demand that they would faithfully obey all of the requirements of the Covenant.

God does not keep His people in the dark. By that I am saying that all people on this earth live in the darkness, because the existing reality of living in this world is that we live in this world that is ruled by the originator of sin/darkness. God’s plan starts when He shines the light of truth into this world. This light is expected to grow and increase through the revelation of the truth, until it fills the whole earth (Num. 14:21).

The agents through whom God works are known as messengers/prophets. God gives a message/testimony to a person of His own choosing, and instructs this messenger to deliver His words to His intended recipients. The intended recipients, with rare exception, are the people of His kingdom. But there have been times when God has warned that destruction is coming unless the population repents of their evil deeds, such as with Jonah to Nineveh. The Evil One, for obvious reasons, does not want God to successfully accomplish His plan, so he distorts the light (as through a prism) in order to keep it from exposing his finely crafted illusions. The evil one knows that when God has accomplished His plan of restoration his days are numbered and few (see Revelation 12:12). You may try to comfort yourself by saying that God has placed special protection on His testimony-He would never allow the evil one to distort them; He would never allow lies to penetrate His own Holy Scriptures. Yet the evil one wants you to believe this, making his insidious work all the more believable and easier to swallow, and gives his illusion far more power than they deserve.

Jeremiah 8:8 (JB) “How dare you say; We are wise and we possess the Law of Yahweh? But look how it has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes!

God testifies to Jeremiah the fact that His words, the words He gave to Moses and were written down in the books of the Law, have been falsified (turned into lies) by the “lying pen of the scribes”. I am saying this because there is a widespread and certain belief that God has put special protection on ALL the words in the Bible (from cover to cover), and we must understand that all the words contained in the Bible are the very words of God. This conviction is a powerful tool of the evil one, and deadly to those who hold to it. Just as the evil one controlled the pens of the scribes in Israel he also controlled the decisions of the canonical council that determined which books and letters would be included in the Bible. The Bible contains the words of God; but it is not the word of God from cover to cover; there are lies in the “New Testament” letters of Saul/Paul and his protege Luke.

The only way you will ever receive eternal life is to keep the commandments of God and learn the truth. When you learn the truth you naturally want to share what you are learning with others. The truth is the testimony of the Son of God (Jesus). These two qualities are specifically named as the distinct characteristics of the last of the offspring of the Woman of Revelation 12. These offspring are righteous in fact (de facto) and not in faith. The agreement between God and His people requires (demands) obedience to His commandments, the same ten commandments that Paul teaches were, are, and will always be, impossible for human flesh to obey. Do you see the distortion? Paul teaches that salvation is accomplished apart from the law (Romans 7:6), not through it. He says that the law is good, but could never save a sinner. The Son of God testifies to the TRUTH. And when asked by a rich young man about entrance into eternal life, Jesus said this:

Matthew 19:17 … But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ …
Matthew 18:8-10 If your hand or your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter into life crippled or lace, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire…
Matthew 5:17-19 ‘ Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved…

The strong, sometimes difficult and even gruesome statements made by the Son of God concerning obedience to the Ten Commandments are clear; you would be better off to go through life half blind or crippled and obey the commandments, than to be whole and burn in the fire which is the second death. God has always, does now, and will always require uncompromising obedience to His specific commands. He does not give requirements and then provide a way “around” those requirements. It is the desire of the evil one that mankind not obey God, because he realizes that only through obedience comes salvation from eternal death. The evil one has created a ‘Great Deception’ whereby mankind continues to believe that they will receive salvation as a ‘free gift’ by ‘grace through faith’.

The Ten Commands of the Covenant/testimony of the Kingdom of God are the tie that binds, the glue that joins and holds the people of the Kingdom of God and God together. Break that connection and the only recourse for God is divorce. In order to enter the Kingdom of God one must be righteous in fact. NO sin or sinner will ever be allowed to live in God’s holy and righteous Kingdom.

You may wonder that if we are saved by our own righteousness then why was the Son of God put to death? The Son was put to death so He would make/have the required payment of redemption; this is the debt that every human being owes for sin/disobedience. Adam and Eve incurred this debt on the day of their disobedience-this debt was eternal death. God’s specific statement to Adam was, “. . .never eat from the tree in the midst of the garden, for on the day you eat of it you will be put to death”. When God told Adam that he would be put to death this did not mean that Adam and Eve would begin to die. God created Adam as a mortal, flesh and blood being. It was because he was mortal that God gave him access to the tree of life. God did not put Adam and the woman to death on that awful day; therefore the payment for disobedience became a debt owed by Adam and the woman and their offspring. This death debt was owed by their offspring because if God had put Adam and Eve to death “On that very day” there would not have been any offspring to whom to pass along the debt. What the Son of God did was to obey the commands of His Father:

John 15:10 If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
John 4:34 But Jesus said; ‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work.

From that first act of disobedience in the garden of the paradise of God to the first coming of the Son of God, the people of the Kingdom of God were continually unfaithful to the very Covenant which offered them the possibility of LIFE. They were disobedient as a corporate body; what this means is that there were righteous people among God’s people, but the nation of Israel as a whole never accomplished the requirement of obedience to God.

There was a plan for Israel (at one time but no longer the Kingdom of Heaven) that had been revealed by God to His prophets. It revealed what would take place if Israel were to learn and practice righteousness; but this way to life was rejected by Israel. The Son of God came to earth and demonstrated that flesh and blood is not only fully capable of obedience to the commands of the Father, but showed us by His actions what those who wish to follow Him into the Kingdom must do to gain salvation. We must learn and live in righteousness in order to enter the kingdom of God. But in order to go through the gates into the City of God we must not be indebted to the one who holds the certificate of debt given him by Adam and Eve; the Evil One who is the ruler of the dead-the dragon/Satan. The Son of God paid with His blood the full the price of redemption for the righteous; therefore the payment for the debt that the righteous inherited from their disobedient parents, Adam and Eve, has been placed in a trust fund, and can be used to pay for the redemption of ONLY those who are righteous and holy.

Revelation 5:9,10 “You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God . . .”

Contrary to popular belief the Son of God did not come to save sinners; He came to deliver a message that He received from His Father. This message is the standard of truth by which every other message is to be compared. Any message that is not completely true to the testimony of the Son of God is a complete lie. This is not my assumption, this is the statement of one of His eyewitness disciples:

2 John 9 If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

God continues to wait for those who wish to enter into His kingdom and eternal life, those who want to learn the truth and be obedient to His covenant. The focus of those who wish to learn the truth, and then through their practice of that truth become righteous and holy, must be the testimony of the Son of God, as recorded by those who were His disciples, specifically Matthew, Mark(who wrote down Peter’s account), and John. Luke was not a disciple of the Son of God, he was a disciple of Paul. Paul was not a disciple of the Son of God, and was therefore not an eyewitness. Therefore, any and all writings of anyone else in the New testament must be compared to the testimony of the Son of God as given by His own eyewitness disciples. If there is any discrepancy, contradiction or distortion of His words we must disregard that person’s teaching altogether. I have found that in the New Testament these are the only writings of truth: Matthew, Mark, and all of John’s writings; the rest are not in agreement with the testimony of Jesus. The letters of first and second Peter are pseudonymous by investigation and content, they were “discovered” long after Peter’s death and the context in which they are written was not extant at the time of Peter’s life and ministry. The first and second century were rife with pseudonymous writings; because the writers felt that they would not have been accepted under their own name.

If this understanding seems harsh then ask yourself these questions; What is your eternal life worth to you? Is it worth you while to investigate for yourself exactly what it is that Jesus said and compare it HONESTLY with what others say about salvation? Do you really want to trust your salvation to the words of anyone OTHER THAN the Words and Teachings of the source for ALL Truth, Jesus Christ? Or are you willing to trust the words of mere human beings, who SAY they are OF GOD, but may not be in reality? Are you willing to ‘bet your life’ on the words of those that contradict the teachings of the Son of God, and of His own eyewitness disciples?

These are important questions that deserve honest answers. I pray that God will lead you into ALL truth, just as He said.

Rick Sterling

The Invitation – by Rick Sterling


You are cordially invited to the marriage

feast of the Son of God.


Time: to be announced by servants of Bridegroom

Location: The heavens

Appropriate wedding garments required


Who wouldn’t want to attend the marriage feast of the prince. The finest food and drink are served. You are in a beautiful palace with the most incredible music you have ever heard. You meet family members you never knew you had. You go through the receiving line and are greeted by the Father and Mother of the Bridegroom, as well as the Bridegroom himself. It may seem hard to believe, but the first time the Father sent out invitations to this feast those who were invited were too busy to come, and they ignored the invitation. The Father sent them an invitation a second time. This time they not only ungraciously ignored the invitation, but mistreated and killed the servants of the Father who tried to bring them the news of the happy event.  The Father sent out a third and final invitation to anyone and everyone who was willing to come, and they would be welcome guests.  The only requirement stipulated in the invitation was that they be properly attired in the required wedding garment.


Matthew 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 “And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner ; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”‘ 5 “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 “Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The last verse explains it all; “many are called”. The invitation went to everyone, both good and evil; “but few are chosen”(selected). To understand the precise meaning of the word selected or chosen, we need to consider another related parable.


Matthew 13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


The dragnet represents the same element as the wedding invitation. The invitation was to all types of individuals, good and bad. The invitation stipulated that the evil would not be welcome, they first needed to become righteous and receive a wedding garment. No unrighteous/wicked person will receive the required garment. The improperly attired guest is bound and thrown into the same place that the “bad fish” are thrown. The chosen/select are represented by the good fish and are separated from the bad/wicked. This takes place at the end of the age. This also brings to mind an other parable.


Matthew 13:24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘ ”


Here is depicted a field of wheat, which represents the kingdom of the heavens. Also present in this same field is a plant that resembles wheat, but is not. This plant, Darnell, is mildly poisonous, and when consumed it causes a numbing of the senses, much like alcohol.  At “the end of the age”, which all of these parables include as their time of fulfillment, the toxic plant is uprooted and tied in bundles to be burned. The wheat is then harvested and taken into the barns.


The first thing we must determine is what exactly constitutes the wedding invitation. There really should be no doubt as to what the wedding invitation represents; it is the Gospel of the Kingdom.


Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.


This text includes all the information that is contained in the parable of the wedding feast. The invitation was sent to all nations, to both the good and the evil. The Father gave the words of the invitation to His Son. His Son gave these words to His disciples. Two of His disciples wrote down what they heard and saw. There is good evidence that a third gave his account to a friend who was able to write it down. The evil one, who sowed the weed seed (darnel) in the same field where the Master sowed the good seed, changed and modified the wording of the invitation. What appears to have happened is that the wedding guest who showed up without the proper required wedding garment had decided to follow the wording of the counterfeit invitation. He obviously thought that the required wedding garment would be provided.


The Son of God described and defined the two invitations, the real and counterfeit, in two different ways. One way was narrow and the gate/door was small (narrow), the other way was broad and accommodated all preferences and practices (wide), all, that is, except the truth.


Matt. 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’


One thing is clear, the evil one does not want this wedding to take place. He was the one responsible for the insolence demonstrated by the invited guests of the first two invitations, and was responsible for the mistreatment and killing of the servants delivering those first two invitations. This time he just changed the wording of the required dress; he told all those who were invited that the gown would be provided.


Here is what I am talking about. The Son of God demonstrated by word and action that the specific requirement for admittance into the heavens (where the feast takes place) is righteousness.


The evil one also says that righteousness is required; but contrary to the testimony of the Son of God, the evil one says this righteousness is given as a gift, and is provided as a reward for your faith through the wonderful grace of the Father. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”. What is truly ‘amazing’ is that people actually believe this.


According to His own words, the Son of God came to testify to the truth; “All who are of the truth hear My voice” (Matt.18:37). Not only did God’s Son come to give us the words of life, but He came to show, by His own actions, a demonstration of what is required to fulfill all the requirements of righteousness.


Matthew 3:13-15(TJB) Then Jesus appeared; he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to dissuade him.’It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’ but Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands’.


The demands of righteousness were clearly demonstrated by the actions of the Son of God, and described by His testimony which He received from His Father. According to His testimony, righteousness is not a gift handed out to all who have a strong faith. Righteousness is accomplished through a specific process of becoming a new being, a being born from above. A person is born of God at the end of this process, not at the beginning. This process is defined as sanctification/consecration. The Son of God told His disciples that “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). His meaning in this statement is that HE is the way, because He has demonstrated through His actions what is righteousness, and you must follow His example. He has told you the truth, and you must listen to HIS testimony and obey HIS commands and directives. It is only by this obedience that you will find life eternal in the kingdom of His Father.


Sanctification is the process of cleansing the impurities from your being; these impurities are your sins. The words of the Son of God are the food and drink (wheat/bread and the water of life). The words of the evil one (Darnell)  cause a numbing stupor, a sense of well-being and assurance, and even include a claim as coming from God Himself. God has always required obedience to His commands. Never has God suggested that His commands are not to be kept, or that we, who are weak because of our flesh, would need a different way to salvation. Never has Jesus suggested that there is a way around the obedience requirement; a way around the Law of God. This would be a way to life that would be accomplished apart from the Law; it would be a lawless salvation. Jesus never taught this.


Romans 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;…


Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified ; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. 16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,…


Paul very accurately states that “Where there is no law, there is no violation”. The salvation that Paul preaches is a “Lawless” gospel. Paul is adamant that he is not saying that the Law has been done away with, it just is not the way of salvation for gentiles. The truth of the matter is that the words of invitation, given by the Son of God, was to go to all nations. Another word for ‘nations’ is gentiles. The Son of God never stated, implied, or demonstrated, that the way to salvation and eternal life was accomplished through anything but obedience to the commands of God. The Law, the Ten Commandments, is the covenant of the kingdom of God (Deut. 4:13). The covenant must be kept by all who would be in the Kingdom of the Heavens.


Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age.”


Certainly, any “gospel” that is not completely consistent with the gospel of the Kingdom as given by the Son of God, is a lie; it will lead all who are using it as their guide to the outer darkness and death by execution as described in the parables.


2 John 1:9 (TJB) If anyone does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.


The last line of the parable of the wedding feast says, “many are called, but few are chosen”. Those who are chosen have learned the truth. They have met all the requirements of righteousness, they have completed the process of sanctification (and been ‘born again’), by consecrating themselves to God, through obedience to His commands. They have not allowed themselves to be deceived by the great deceiver, the evil one. They have demonstrated by their actions that righteousness is not impossible, they have followed the example set by their eldest brother, the firstborn son of God, Jesus Christ. They will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.


Rick Sterling




Elohim – by Rick Sterling


Much has been discussed, debated, and argued, over how many gods there are. Monotheists claim there is only one being who is God. Polytheists claim a pantheon of gods. Atheists, obviously, claim that a God or gods do not exist. In order to be God, a ‘god’ must first and foremost be eternal; he must not have been created, for to be himself a creation he would then be inferior to the one who did the creating. Is it possible for a created being to become God, or like God? Those who believe in God, the Creator of all things, must also believe that God created all things; by this I mean the universe and everything in it, including living sentient beings both spirit and flesh and blood. What is the difference between a being who is a spirit and one who has physical substance? As I understand it a spirit being has a form, but has spirit characteristics. They can be visible or invisible, travel through solid objects or materials. Spirit beings are immortal and do not reproduce. Flesh and blood beings have physical, substantive, bodies; they are finite, in other words, their bodies wear out and they eventually die. Flesh and blood beings have the ability to reproduce thus insuring their continuing presence as a species in their world.

God gives us clues as to the nature of His creation. This information is discernible through investigation and research. Difficulties in the understanding of His creation come from erroneous paradigms passed down through the ages: paradigms that have acquired the vestiges of truth.

Genesis 1:26 God (Elohim) said Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves…

What do your thoughts reveal to you about your paradigms concerning this text? Is it your thinking that One being orchestrating the creation of all things; that One being was in charge, with one or more companion ‘Gods’ assisting in the creation? In the above text he word Elohim is plural. God is not talking to Himself, God is speaking to other beings who are also God. God, as we understand it, has a spiritual form and characteristics; therefore has a perceivable form or appearance, but with the qualities of a spirit. It would be impossible to create a being in the image of the Creator, if the Creator has no form if that Creator only exists as conscious energy. It is also evident that not only did God create ‘man’ in their image, but also in their likeness. The image of God is revealed in the human form, head, torso, chest and abdomen, two arms, hands, legs, feet etc.. Mankind was not only created in the image of God but also in the likeness of God. Likeness would be in their appearance. I am not referring to their physical image, but the form of their appearance. When you observe a room full of people you are (for the most part) able to discern between males and females. You are able to do this because of the difference between the masculine likeness and the feminine likeness. God said, “Let us make mankind in our own image and after our likeness”, and made males and females; therefore there must be one of the Elohim who has feminine characteristics or likeness. I have discussed this with several others, and I find it interesting that the mere suggestion that one of the Elohim is feminine brings on a rash of criticism and resistance. The account of the creation of Adam, and subsequent removal of the woman from within him, gives to us an insight into the Elohim.

John 15:26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

In the Hebrew language all words for spirit are feminine in gender. While this may not be impressive to most people it is not the only support for this concept that there is a feminine characteristic of God. It is entirely possible that when making a helper for Adam God used the same procedure as was accomplished with the Spirit. The Spirit of the Father is in fact His spirit. The woman was taken out of the man, the Spirit was taken out of the Father. The Father is a spirit, the Spirit is a spirit, both are one spirit.

Genesis 2:22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (23) The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh ; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

The two, Adam and the woman Eve, were one flesh, one with a masculine likeness and one with a feminine likeness. The Spirit of the Father is one with the Father, although two separate beings they are the same spirit; but one has a masculine likeness and one a feminine likeness. The Father and His Spirit did not stop there; no, they shared their spirit and made their spirit in the spiritual form of the beings they would create. They were to create spiritual beings to be “ministering spirits” to help with managing the universe. In the Bible these are called angels, in some extra-biblical texts they are called ‘watchers’. One of these “angels” seems to have preeminence, in fact his name means “who is like God”. God even told Moses to listen to this “angel”; because His name was in him.

Exodus 23:20 “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 “Be on your guard before him and obey his voice ; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him.

For God to say “My name is in him” means this angel is God, because he has the name. What name is that, you may say.

Exodus 3:2 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush ; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. (3) So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” (4) When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” (14) God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM “; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

The being who is speaking is the angel, and this angel tells Moses that His name is I AM, as in “I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. If you still are not quite sure of this, here is a text that may help.

John 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (57) So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” (59) Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

The reason “they” picked up stones to stone Him, was because He said He is God/I AM.

John 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” (8) Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” (9) Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip ? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? (10) “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (11) “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” (31) The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. (32) Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father ; for which of them are you stoning Me?” (33) The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

The Jews knew exactly what the Son of God was saying by this statement, He was saying that He and God were one and the same God. When the Son of God stated that He was in the Father and the Father in Him, He was saying they share the same identical spirit. This leads to the conclusion that God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son are one and the same God/Spirit, and in essence are a family unit. Adam and the woman were one flesh and their offspring were one with their mother and father. What is profound about this is that the Son of God has asked that the Father make us one with them, as they are one!

John 17:20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; (21) that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

The evil one does not want this to take place, and he has effected a perfect delusion to insure that it will never happen. This delusion functions on this premise; the condition of sin and sinners. Sin, he tells us, is a chronic condition for all mankind, it exists in our very substance (DNA). Sin is an evil consciousness that our spirit constantly does battle with, and Jesus came to save sinners, in their sin, from their sins. In order to escape sin we must escape this body of flesh. These are all lies, and the biggest lie is this; God will save you from your sins by your faith, working through His grace. The Son of God put it simply like this:

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

His disciple John learned this from His Master:

1John 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. (5) You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. (6) No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. (7) Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; (8) the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (10) By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

The Spirit who is God is working now to sanctify all who will willingly submit to the word of truth. Do not resist the word of truth, for to resist the truth is to resist God by grieving away the Spirit of God. The time to act is now. the end is very near, and the workers are few. The family of God is calling to all who are willing to come, learn righteousness, and help others do the same.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Son of God and Son of Man, please come soon to your household. Amen.

Rick Sterling