What Defiles a Person?

So very well said Mike.

“ In our day we see this sort of thing being used to justify church leaders making their churches appealing to the ‘world’ by secularizing their music and focusing on entertainment of goats rather than the feeding and shepherding of sheep. They void the word of God by this ‘new tradition’ of becoming seeker-sensitive rather than biblical and obedient to God’s Word and the genuine Gospel.”

Btw. This extends not only to the traditions, but the actual commandments. There is an excellent sermon on this by the pastor of a very small reformed church my friends attend. He does not use “catchy” culturally relevant references, teaches exclusively from the Bible and might only be faulted for being a bit long. Readers can find it here…. The Place of Our Good Works, part of his Heidelberg Catechism series…it’s a good listen.


Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. Mark 7:14-15 (NASB) 

One very interesting character in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress is a fellow named ‘Ignorance.’ ‘Christian’ and ‘Hopeful’ encounter him after they depart the company of the ‘Shepherds’ as they continue their journey to the Celestial City.  The path on which they traveled became crooked and it lay next to a country called ‘Conceit.’ ‘Ignorance’ came from there. Bunyan described him as ‘a very brisk lad.’ After ‘Christian’ learned  that ‘Ignorance’ claimed to be on the same journey as he and ‘Hopeful’ he also deduced that this fellow had not begun it at…

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The Lamb opens the Scroll

Mike, might be best if you originally posted this 13 years ago, to begin with the beginning. In my study of Revelation, I’ve been taught that the understanding of Chapter 1 is critical in framing our understanding of the whole book. Many today want to start with the “goody passages” perhaps Chapter 6, and certainly Chapters 11-13 and on to the ending.

As you mention above in the title and opening this is an important book because:

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Each verse is worthy of it’s own sermon, and before that a few background sermons. Dr. Steven Dilday, who I have mentioned before, does an excellent series on Revelation and clearly presents the classical historical interpretation, which is often neglected today. His work can be found at: https://www.fromreformationtoreformation.com/revelation-description
And more completely at:

His 131st sermon, yes 131st, starts to cover Revelation 6.
As for other resources, he has a reading list:

Anyone truly interested in pursing the Book of Revelation will find these quite useful…at least through the first half of the book.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

Those with discernment from God know that the “Church” is very sick because it has been deceived through decades of bad theology and spiritually weakened by leaders who are bent on ministering via pragmatism. As I write this, there are so-called Christian leaders who are proclaiming a new Golden Age for the church with millions of people each year coming to Christ in their ministries. These proclamations, however, fail to note the tragic turnover rate in their pews whereby those “millions” of converts each year exit their churches to be replaced by new “seekers” who continue to fuel the revolving door that brings in new faces while those who did not find what they were really looking for exit never to be seen again. Those making the claims of gigantic growth turn a blind eye to this problem. Why? Are they blind to what is really going…

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Deception is rooted in unbelief

This has some very powerful words in it. I think they need repeating. I’ve taken the liberty to pick a few choice sentences and added a couple of other scriptures that came to mind as Mike’s wording echos through my brain. Hopefully they reinforce your points.

“Why have they fallen into darkness and we have not? There are leaders amongst those on the broadway that leads to apostasy that have a problem taking God’s Word as absolute truth. On the other hand, I have always taught God’s Word as literal truth yet there are many places in the Word that some professing Christians have a problem taking literally because, if we do, then it refutes their pet theology exactly to the point. That is the nature of God’s truth.”

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

“Unbelief leads to a turning from obedience to follow what the flesh wants or what one wants to believe instead of believing God and walking by faith. This causes a hardness of heart to set in and become progressively worse unless God grants repentance, breaks through the hardness of heart and the person turns to Him in belief.

Accompanying this heart hardening is spiritual blindness.

Professing Christians in this state of heart hardening and growing spiritual blindness are not regenerate. If they were, they would be spiritually alive and God would not allow them to apostatize..”

Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

“Those who fall into irrevocable apostasy prove they were never truly Christians by this act. True, regenerate believers prove their authenticity by remaining faithful. However, there are professing Christians all over the place who are apostatizing, going after all sorts of false religions, trying to incorporate other religions into Christianity, et cetera, thereby proving that they are not truly Christians. They got to this point because unbelief and disobedience was their starting point. Eventually, they became so spiritually blind and hardhearted that they became open to all sorts of deception and that is what we are seeing all around us now.

Here we see that these people become so hardhearted and spiritually blind that they get to the point that they do not believe the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.

God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false. That is why we see so many professing Christians all around us right now falling all over themselves to go hard after false doctrines and follow men rather than God’s Truth and the Lord Jesus Christ and His good doctrines.”

Rom 1:32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:53-58 (NASB) 

The condition of the “visible church” in our time is quite tragic.  It is full of professing Christians who appear to…

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Important Geezer Comment on Distance and new Rule Change Proposal.

Recent golf commentary... I rarely post on this blog, but this is important discussion. It’s even more complex. (See Bob’s note attached.) You have to factor in the temperature also not just humidity . And as you both know there is a complex formula that correlates the temperature and the humidity, know as the dew …

The doctrine of original sin is biblical

Curiously, this past Sunday I had a chance to visit the small United Reformed Church not far from my town. The Pastor had a summary of doctrines worked out in the early 1600’s, known as the Canon’s of Dort. Being Presbyterian I’ve spent much more time with their standards that came a few years later. But I was impressed by the Canon’s simplicity in addressing the very issue you discuss. One can find the summary at:


Here is a quote from the first point….

1. Total Inability or Total Depravity
Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not–indeed he cannot–choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ–it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation–it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

I love the way it’s written: “..not the sinner’s gift to God.”

It gets better as you read on to all five points.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NASB) 

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman…

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