Pastor John Ricci discusses 1 Corinthians Chapter 9 and the Heresy of Lordship Salvation.
Category Archives: Lost – Found & the Wicket
Matthew 24:12 (KJV) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Have you ever met anyone who will not acknowledge when they are wrong? A believer would never take such a position, as they are acutely aware of their need for a Savior and will move in absolute humility rather than pride!
Remember Something: Most people don’t give a hang about you, unless your doing something for them… Yet the Lord is not like that!
Here is a link my wife shared with me about such people… shorturl.at/BGHIX
I have found that hidden self righteous pride, is much more detrimental to ones spiritual growth, than being humble and honest enough to go to the Lord for help and forgiveness! To me, it is much more important to be a friend rather than just a rigid instructor of the faith.
This is an opinion piece, allot of very rigid Bible doctrines can be found on this subject, but few envelop the totality of the Lord and his creation as a whole. As a minister with over 30 years of experience, and an understanding of the mercy shown of the Lord, I do not believe the righteous (as opposed to the wicked) suffer the result of the fall, as does the vast majority of humanity. That is to say, the needs of the righteous will be met, if not on earth, surely in heaven. In short, the suffering will be over!
Knowing your Bible gives you the basics for righteous living in life, but this is only a starting point for those who love and follow Jesus. So, the Bible is not emphatic about all subject matters, but is often used as a compass to lead us in the right direction, when used in contexts.
My wife and I just lost our old and faithful Cockier Spaniel, she helped me when I was recovering from my heart attack, and for years was a loving and obedient dog. This is primarily why I am writing this today, and to share with others my very personal knowledge of my Lord.
Below are some Bible verses I have pasted which show the creation order concerning animals and man. “Man” was created in God’s image, being tripartite in nature, yet his rebellion in the Garden of Eden separated him from a Holy God, because of his – (her) rebellion and independence.
Unlike “man” the animals did not rebel against the Lord God, yet were caught up in the downfall of creation, and they too suffer because of sin in the world, ultimately bringing death and destruction.
I cannot state emphatically that the souls of animals go to heaven, and some believe since they have no spirits (as does man) they will not exist with us in eternity; but it is my opinion that to believe such a doctrine leans towards legalism, and does not include the rest of the creation.
The whole of creation seems to be promised redemption; provided it has not rebelled against the Lord’s natural order to include an animal killing a human being, as in: Exodus 21:28–35 ESV
28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
It is my belief if an animal kills a man, woman, or child even in defense, it is a violation of God’s order without redemption, and will join lost humanity (those not redeemed) with Satan and his angles in the lake of fire for all eternity.
Yet Conversely: other scripture appears to point to “good animals” (those who have not violated God’s creation order of authority) will also be redeemed as a part of the new heavens and earth.
Isaiah 11:6 (KJV)
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
These other verses also show the totality of the Lord’s understanding especially towards his people…
Genesis 1:28 ESV
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Psalm 147:9 ESV
9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
Psalm 104:21 ESV
21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
Proverbs 12:10 ESV
10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Luke 12:6 ESV
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? 2 And not one of them is forgotten before God.
Romans 8:22-24 (ESV)
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
It appears to me that most verses in the scriptures are speaking about the animals and man, being redeemed to the original creation order, and I’m quite convinced this shall include the pets of the righteous. This is a part of our great hope in Christ, when death has no more sting, what a glorious day that shall be!
For all real believers, it is imperative that you learn how to follow the Lord yourself, to listen and learn for yourselves, rather than just following “the pitch”!
This is a difficult post for me to try and put across, it encompasses years of the Lord showing himself to me while he was working in my life.
We are now living in the age that Matthew 24: 24 applies.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Early on, while dating my wife to be; I can still recall the Lord assuring me that “my life was in his hands”. I did not comprehend at the time the totality in that meaning; I had not had my “near death experience” of Christ lying shoulder to shoulder next to me, nor was I in the Church leadership after I returned home from my orders under Operation Enduring Freedom. I had watched the leadership in the church become more and more institutionalized, as they focused on “building” a larger church body.
I became frustrated because of what I could plainly see, I surpassed all the training at the time because of my personal study under Dr. Gross for six years in street ministry, and Dr. Gross was one of the top exorcists in Baltimore City. I later told the Lord I wanted to be like Paul and Silos; and like them, effective for the Lord so that the enemy would know who I was, and not just pew stuffing in some church!
I then suffered my heart attack and NDE while in the U.S. Army, who were instrumental in saving my life while in water survival; and without which I would not have survived the ordeal.
A week later my new proximal lad stent had started to clot again. They rushed me down the corridor to have more emergency stenting. I told the nurse to tell my wife she was the best thing that had ever happened to me, and I insisted! The nurse (who I had never seen before) spoke very calmly to me exclaiming, “ Mr. Dell, the enemy knows who you are; but this will not stop what the Lord has planned for You” !!!
I was simply speechless, as I knew then that this woman was used of God in showing me he had heard my prayer! Incidentally, this all occurred like a silver thread that has run throughout my life in providence. I had asked the Lord not to have to serve in the Army more than I was obligated too, this echoed the words of a Lieutenant I had know in the Coast Guard, who told me during the reduction in force that the Coast Guard was not his God! It was almost my 20 year mark with the Army Reserve Watercraft now, and 23 years for pay purposes. It was also just three days after my ordination as a minister, and I was soon to get accredited by the reformed Baptists.
As I continued to struggle with getting my accreditation’s, mostly for what I learned under Dr. Gross years before; something very strange happened. I felt led to a room opposite my office where I was writing my thesis. As I entered this guest bedroom, I could feel a calm presence within, and out of the corner of my eyes I could make out what appeared to be the Lord; but this time the ghostly image was in color, not just black and white pushing in next to me, as when my heart stopped!
Honestly, although it was a wonderful experience, it scared me a bit; so I called my old mentor the late Dr. Gross on the phone, and explained to him what just had happened. He instinctively asked me; “where did this happen”? I told him opposite my computer room and office; then he said, “ Roland, don’t you see, it is the Lord telling you to follow him”!!! I had become so busy in attempting to prove myself to men, it seems I had sort of lost focus on my Lord!
Not too long ago, I was deeply involved with a couple men who espouse a type of “Lordship Salvation group” on the net. The leader of this group excepted me with great love in a 7 year Skype relationship. I finally felt accepted by one who seemed to understand just how the Lord functioned. Friction then started with a young brother who likened everything to being tied to Rome and the Illuminati. I tried desperately to communicate with this young brother about what I had learned of secret organizations in the past; but he would have none of it, as he knew I supported Donald Trump for president, who he despised.
The supposed “elder” would not intervene, and relationships with other internet “Christian whack jobs” which he allowed “into the fold” just increased. I am an open person, but I do not like being spied on by sanctimonious dingbats who think that they know better than anyone else; you know the types!
This all came to a head about the same time doctors discovered I had a vary serious infection to my hearts hardware which the military installed.
I was then accused of being “chastened of God” by the group fellowship leader, as being political minded instead of “God minded” read carnal. I do know one thing however, the Lord used this very serious event in my life to “rip me from this Lordship Salvation Cult”, in which the leader exclaims that he is so sanctified that he no longer sins, he just has glitches in the flesh!
I now must ask myself, “what was I thinking”? But in a time of strong delusions and wickedness abounding all over the world, peoples like these are bound to show up on stage; so to speak. The lesson I learned was don’t allow anyone to dictate how the Lord works his salvation and sanctification within your life. The Lord is so far above and ahead of the “paygrade” of any human being within the world that it is laughable to think that anyone can achieve such spiritual wisdom in judging another’s walk; that is – apart from blatant sin and rebellion against God.
It is more likely to be seen as a blatant rebellion against the leaders perceived authority, which he is actually reacting too; as no one is needed in defending the infallible and almighty Lord of heaven and earth!
To all committed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, remember that mere men are fallible; my best advice I can give – is what the Lord gave to me; FOLLOW HIM and no one else, in these days of strong delusions!
I will close with what my dear old mother reminded me of tonight: ROMANS 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
One’s perceived Holiness or walking in the Holy Spirit of truth, should never depend upon one’s own viewpoint of the scriptures, nor idiosyncratic emotions. False teachers are big on using such manipulations to gain favor with others and then build their own following. I do not believe all people who engage in such teachings is always on a conscious level; rather they have been deceived into believing that they have found the only or “narrow road” to fellowshipping with our Lord.
Matthew 24:24 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
I know a brother who dogmatically insists that his own spiritual experiences have taught him over the years just who are the “Goats” and who are indeed “Sheep”. He decides who’s allowed in the “Sheep Fold” who is not, and even who is to be rejected among the brethren! He does not enforce these principles by using balanced Biblical doctrines, nor even confer with other elders before deciding to eject the member; he does this as a matter of self-righteous pride, and his distorted sense of self-worth, and perceived authority in Christ! This is very dangerous in deciding who are the weeds, goats, wolves, dogs, and pigs. Only the Lord Jesus Christ himself can know who the Father gives unto him. Fallen humanity uses discernment, when in line with the authority of the scriptures alone.
Below is what a brother recently shared with me, in what he (like myself) has painfully discovered over the years.
“Roland, here is a list of 5 things I learned about “spiritual leaders”. I wrote this in 2014.
If you are not with them or believe like them, you are not of God.
Your value is based on your performance. How you perform is how you are regarded. (No intrinsic value).
You are only truly loved if you are fully submitted to them. If you rebel against their authority or control in anyway, you are being influenced by Satan.
Control and manipulation is enforced through fear, condemnation, confusion, and partial truths. Twisting the truth is common.
There is a “drawing” to the leader. The leader will come in the form of a friend at first. After your heart is opened and exposed to accept the person or group of people, the manipulation and control begins.”
I post this today, as I am continually troubled by the zeal of deception which is broadcast now weekly. The man and his followers are convinced that they follow “but Christ alone” with no amount of human sin being present in their members. They will condemn anyone or anything who would find disagreement with them, and their favorite targets are not Marxist – Liberation Theology; but rather the Evangelical Bible believing church! They systematically pick apart what “they see” as heresies even found within Christian fundamentals. They say that they are not involved with the world, or the world’s systematic theologies, apologetics, policy, politics and even geography. Yet they continually beat down any semblance of the Christian informed peoples of the past, and any attempt at restoring a level of decency in the postmodern world! These brothers but bury themselves within their own sanctimonious behaviors and beliefs; yet stand in condemnation to anyone who would try and convert others to the principles of sound doctrine in scriptures, Christ, or even Biblical ethics, as being a lover of the world more than Christ!
Like a bunch of committed communists working towards their revolutionary goal in converting the world to their way of thinking; these misplaced beliefs, like a Communist are destructive, but even worse unlike a Communist, they claim to represent Christ, yet with having a distorted viewpoint of the Lord. This poor brother, continually pounds on the Church (false and or real – in my estimation) along with anyone who believes the “State of Israel” is still tied to the coming prophesies of the Bible; and for my favorite twist, they especially hate Evangelicals who support Donald Trump as President!
These people teach avoidance of anyone who would challenge or disagree with their so-called discernment’s as being non-believers, and have deceived themselves (and others) that only they, and people like them, who agree with them that they, are the “chosen remnant”, who in the end will be with the Lord! This is a shameful and gut-wrenching pride which I feel is my duty to point out as a minister of the Gospel, and as someone who has inside knowledge of these types of characters!
In closing I would like to recommend the site: http://www.wickedshepherds.com/
This is the most comprehensive and exhaustive site which I have found on the net for such modern-day Pharisees, (who think that they do no wrong)!
I’ve witnessed those who have allot of zeal in attempting to serve the Lord, yet people who attack others in their faith (aside from addressing sin) is unmerited and abusive, often from a deep seated and self righteous pride, which is obviously not detected from those who practice such pettiness…
Romans 2: 1-4 speaks of how the Lord views such people.
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) Jonathan Edwards was a colonial American Congregational preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards “is widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian.”
Published on Oct 1, 2015
It has been said that the doctrine of once saved always saved is a “Broadroader’s” doctrine; yet in fact, it is a sound Biblical doctrine!
The Lord moves and works when he wills in accordance to his plans. The most important thing we can do is to “Stay in the Net” (network) with him, to keep the channel open in listening for Him who loves us.
Are we receiving…? No one else can tell you how or when to listen, we just simply keep listening, and then moving in obedience when we are called to do so.
Men may make plans for movements, but it is the Lord alone who directs our paths.
On board one of my tugboats I had a man tell me once that I have had enough experiences for three lifetimes! Of course, I ate up that recognition, especially when constantly made to feel like I was the lesser early in life.
The Character of a person I have always felt was worth far more than earthly accomplishments, and yes, you can have both, but most people get “puffed up” in ego by their status in the world with few remaining humble enough in realizing that most of their personal gains are but a gift from God, and not of themselves!
You will remember that Jesus told Pilot that all the authority he was given on earth, was by his Father who was in heaven. With that, Pilot attempted to wash his hands of the Lord’s condemnation by men!
I have known a few men who remained humble, despite their outstanding success in the world, one was a cousin of mine who had been a paratrooper during World War Two. He understood the value of a man’s character despite his station in life.
But then we will always have the ones who I call the “smoke blowers”; these type people create an illusion of grandeur while projecting their importance onto others. This is not to say that they have not had their successes and experiences in life, only that they tend to be creative in over-dramatizing themselves, often at the expense of others. This is what allot of politicians do, they enhance their importance and sometimes will even fabricate stories, thus drawing more attention to themselves.
Like most people who have known some degree of struggle within their lives, I find these types of people repulsive. I had once met a man who served in the infantry during the First World War (The great War) in France under General Black Jack Pershing; I was humbled and amazed at what was most important to him: wool blankets which he pointed to on our museum ship, he got very excited exclaiming how wonderful it was to have a wool blanket while in the trenches of WW I, in keeping warm from the snow and rain, and then he added, if you had two blankets; boy you were in heaven!
I then realized just how spoiled our society has become to those who had lived 100 years ago! The character of these old timers often embraced the very basics of life’s necessities, as if they were of a great prize, which was very sobering to me!
One thing which remains consistent to me, is that the one who struggles in life, seems to develop a greater character then people who have simply been given earthly wealth and status. And oftentimes people who increase their prominence in the world tend to forget either wear they came from and will often look down upon others, who may have overcome even greater obstacles within their lives!
This goes far beyond race, gender, beliefs, or place of origin; rather I am speaking about the character of the individual soul, the merit of an individual and what they do with what they have been given yet overcome. Jesus Christ, (my Lord) exemplifies to perfection the Supreme character of what a man or women should actually be; he was God incarnate yet was humble enough to wash the dirt from others feet!
This should be the nature exemplified in all of us who claim his Glorious name; yet “blowing smoke” in the face of others we consider as “lesser” should be shameful to us who have been given so very much in being redeemed.
Are You Obsessed by Something?
Who is the man that fears the Lord? PSALM 25:12
Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.
If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.
“He himself shall dwell in prosperity…” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge…” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition
Published on Jun 1, 2019
It is the Lord who has shown me that the power to overcome “the sufferings of Christ” within us, is to realize the great love and mercy he has shown to us. It is much easier to be critical with our feelings within, than it is to yield to the Lord’s love within, and to obtain the power to forgive others for the many injustices we may have suffered. Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Published on May 10, 2019
1 Corinthians 4: 19-21
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
1 Corinthians 2:4
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
Will the Lord ever make a blanket statement to no longer speak to people?
Perilous times will come, and the love of many will grow cold, many false prophets will arise and deceive many. All these verses indicate to me why one would wish to remove himself from the rejection and hurt of others. However, Galatians 5:22-23 teaches that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Also, in 1 John 4:18 ESV There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 Peter 4:8 ESV Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. I could go on and on pasting verses of why I don’t believe the Lord would ever speak such a thing to us, as it is simply un-Biblical.
The second part of the equation is; that the Lord moves with us from situation to situation, sometimes he might tell us to be quiet when we would naturally speak, and to simply listen and observe. Other times, we might be moved only to deliver a simple sentence in season; or even to expound to others in-depth what he has given us. But in No Way do I believe the Lord would ever tell us to no longer speak to others whether they be brethren or non-believers.
I have read a lot of good books over the years about walking in the Holy Spirit, to include one of my first books the Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. Oswald Chambers and Watchmen Knee have also had a tremendous impact of my life, along with Jonathan Edwards and many others.
John 10: 27-28 commentary:
But ultimately my walk was most effected by the Lord himself in learning to “remain still” (as dead) and simply listen to him! “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27. The second part reads in verse 28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
It was very difficult for me to find broadcasts that spoke about hearing the Lord by most preachers, which I found incredibly strange since this was one of the foundational principles of walking with the Lord! It is my concern, that most ministers focus on doctrinal teachings within the scriptures, but then rarely seem to preach on following the Lord himself, which the heart of the scriptures are indeed teaching about!
I can remember my Mom who was a Women’s Bible teacher for decades telling me that “you are right, our church spoke about (their missionaries) actually hearing the Lord” … I thought to myself, well they had better realize they can hear him! And yet, this subject is hardly ever spoken about in most churches and has been a cause of great heart ache to me over the years!
Then we have the second part of the verse, which seems to me that if you get the first part mentioned above, then you must overcome those who would detract from verse 28; as in – losing your Salvation!
I truly believe that Satan recognizes the significance of these 2 verses and does everything in his power to at the very least, causes our flesh to either overlook them or worse yet – to make us think we have something to do with it!
The most we can do is to put on the armor of God, which we have been provided by our Lord’s atonement for sin. In both cases if we choose to either not listen, or to try and be Holy in ourselves; is both moving in independence, rather than dependence upon the work of the cross! This is why the Lord spoke to me years ago while nearly drowning in the surf; saying “you can do nothing”!
I believe Satan does not want a believer to grasp the significance of these verses, which is; that none of our spiritual walk is within our mortal power to obtain – no matter how hard we try in the flesh.
The key to walking with the Lord, is in simply learning how to yield to His Holy Spirit within us – Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Published on Mar 13, 2019
Anything: which takes away from Christ’s completed work upon the cross, I see as Satanic!
Lordship Salvation is like asking the Lord where his grace and mercy ends? It does not take into account that we have no power over sin, and never will! It is like “half stepping” the eternal work of the cross on our behalf, making at least part of Christ’s work on cross ineffective, without having the believer’s consent and cooperation. This seems to be a satanic accusation to me, from what I learned from the experience of this human pride, instead of humility in love.
In actuality, the Lord goes before his people the elect, so that they may attain to eternal security, (which is Christ’s work) once having started with the Holy Spirit, (by design) in which we are sealed until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30)! I hadn’t realized the harshness of this heresy, until I was coldly discarded by these type brethren for simply not seeing eye to eye with their beliefs about me, in just how cold and calculated this hidden pride actually is, and how it is used by Satan to accuse actual brethren, and destroy some people’s faith.
Published on Jan 29, 2019
Romans 2: 1 (KJV)
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things…
Published on Jan 26, 2019
A Haughty Spirit comes before a fall, and Pride before destruction. So be careful not to get too cocky, and then speak to quickly…
“It seems to me, that some people just don’t want to understand this”…
This guy stands on his faith, he is not just pretending to be a follower of his faith while shielding himself by drawing a distinction between the: “things of the world / things of God”. You can’t be salt by keeping your head in the clouds upon this earth!