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.
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.