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As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. KJV Matthew 10:7 -- I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. KJV Matthew 16:19 -- Ye are come … unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, KJV Hebrews 12:22 On my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: KJV Acts 2:18 -- That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. KJV 1 Corinthians 2:5 --

Pastor's Corner

John 10:4-5
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Should I follow, should I lead; should I listen, should I think for myself; should I reason, should I wait; these are the questions that we so often ask ourselves in the confusion of our souls. But this confusion do NOT sheep make! Sheep understand intuitively.

Sheep make no real decisions at all. PEOPLE make decisions, sheep just follow. The only real questions for a simple sheep are: Where do I eat, where do I sleep, where do I go when the master calls, what voice is that, am I safe? It knows no other worries.

It is INTELLECT that causes us to trap ourselves in our sins. It is EMOTIONS that trick us into going our own way. It is PRESSURE from inside our soul that makes us chose roads we might not normally take. It is FLESH that pulls us, verily, drags us down the road by a rope, as it runs wildly through the muddy town of desire. This kind of abuse sheep do not know.

When the Great Shepherd allowed us our BRILLIANCE (to reason, to muse, to meditate, to test, to think) He never desired that we would do all that without HIM. In the Garden, man reasoned with GOD; not himself. In the flood man submitted to GOD not society. In the exodus from Egypt man didn’t choose his own path but rather GOD’S laws. In the Gospels the disciples didn’t decide their destiny by themselves; they followed one who said, ‘Come, Follow Me’. These are the things SHEEP do. Sheep are not stupid or foolish as some would accuse, they are just true followers. If Christ starts to walk, His sheep follow. He does not push them, nor does He pull them; those are the kind of actions most likely to be from the religious ones motivated by the demonic ones influenced by the one Deceiver. In contrast, Christ SPEAKS and all the flock scurry for a front row seat! HE draws & woos.

Sometimes the shepherd will allow the sheep to go his own way; within the confines of the hill they are dining at, within the confines of the sheepfold that they tenure at, within the boundaries of safety from the wolf that desires sheep-flesh. This is established for their own good; yet, this is true freedom, for the Shepherd and the Watchdog are both watching over the sheep. Should an evil attack, these two will attack the attacker, so that the sheep need not fear. Should a storm arise, the sheep will be safely tucked away where winds and rains cannot harm them for the Porter will guard the door.

Yes, the voice of the stranger will call; it always does. The voice of temptation will whisper; it rides on the winds of desire. The voice of accusation will try to cause the sheep to flee and panic; to leave from the confines of the sheepfold. The voice of the stranger cannot be stopped. However, it CAN BE RECOGNIZED. It can be discerned. But here is the trick of it: You do not discern it by ‘listening’ to it. You discern it by ‘hearing it’ and recognizing it as FOREIGN TO YOU. If it is NOT the Master, if it is NOT your own voice then it is ‘another’ voice. Here is the sum of the matter: When your mind is on the Lord and His Word, then all the other voices become the voice of a STRANGER! Tune your ears to HIM alone and be a true sheep.
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 3/07/2004

Romans 14:23
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
There is a lesson here in this verse that some people would easily overlook; either being too busy studying out the doctrinal issues of God’s laws of eating, or being too easily tempted to only quote the second half of the verse for ‘faith lessons’. Christians easily miss the relationship struck by the joining of a specific example with an overriding principle. Its okay, I missed it too at first.

The principle is easy: “whatsoever”! Name your action. Whatever you do that is not of faith is sin; not the sin of ‘doing’ or ‘not doing’, but of ‘faithing’ or ‘not faithing’.

The example is specific: eating flesh and not just being vegetarian, and tempting your brother to fall just because you have ‘liberty’. His sin is actually tied to yielding to your action which God has restrained him from doing.

The truth / comparative is this: PHYSICAL ACTION is judged by God based on the HEART of the doer. A man who DOUBTS and is NOT OF FAITH will get himself into trouble with the Lord -- now matter what the earthly reason is. That is the REAL point at stake. Actions of a FULLY PERSUADED heart are blessed of the Lord.

If you do an action ‘while your heart condemns you’, then you have sinned. It doesn’t really matter whether it is over natural issues or spiritual issues. If you DO NOT BELIEVE then you cannot receive the blessing of faith. God works to convince the HEART to obey his laws; whether on food, or giving or unfeigned love of the brethren. However, even good obedience, WITHOUT FAITH, will still leave you with a stain of sin on your spiritual wedding garment. Suggestion: BEFORE YOU ACT, TEST YOUR FAITH. Then, move out boldly!
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 3/14/2004

Matthew 16:19
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 

Some days you just feel like all the doors of the universe are closed against you. You look around and you see so many people seemingly ‘free’ but you feel bound up, shut up, and encased. 

You ask yourself, ‘will anyone ever come to let me out of this prison?’ You look around at who you are, what you are, where you are, and why you are there and all you can say is, ‘Don’t know how I got here but I sure wish someone would rescue me.’  

Now most Christians would openly say that they know that God cares and the Christ is the Savior. Some people even have the revelation that Christ is the Rescuer – which of course is what ‘savior’ really means.  We know we need a Rescuer! 

Some people will even espouse the fact that ‘the truth will set them free’. However -- and there is always a however when it comes to the religious among us – in the end, still in their hearts, deep inside, they are really just waiting for something to happen. They don’t DO anything. They glory in waiting. When help doesn’t come, they despair. They look up at the Rescuer and the Divine One, sad. 

Today I heard the verse above. This time a different ‘insight’ struck me, than in the past.  The word that struck hardest was: KEY. The answer to life’s problems is all summed up in the word KEY.  (No, it is not summed up in ‘I need a door or way out!’) 

A KEY is a device by which one opens a LOCKED environment. Simple, right?  But did you know that the person who holds the key CONTROLS THE ENVIRONMENT? That’s right. If I have the key to a door, and you DON’T, then you can’t get in or out BUT I CAN.  I ALONE hold the key! It is MY responsibility to ‘activate’ the locking / unlocking mechanisms of Earth doors & Heaven doors. 

Christ didn’t say ‘I HOLD ALL THE KEYS, ASK ME.’ He said to the Church at its inception ‘I WILL GIVE THEE THE KEYS.’ We are to control the environment of our existence, and the influences upon our spirits.  What does the KINGDOM hold that only YOUR KEY CAN OPEN? I don’t know. Why don’t you use your keys and find out! Did you lose them? Then SEEK until you FIND! Be SPIRITUAL, not religious. It’s easier. 
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 3/21/2004


Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, a
ll ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Busy, busy, busy. The modern man is always busy. Not just doing one thing at a time, and being satisfied therein; no, now he must be doing many things at a time without pause, without stop, without wait, and without hesitation or contemplation of reason.

To stand still is considered a waste. To be still is considered wasteful. To ‘be’ without ‘doing’ is considered a crime against humanity. “Idol hands are the devils work”, goes the saying. “Any person who is not productive is of no value”, cries out the corporation mantra. And the church world echoes back, “Give us your time as volunteers, the days are short”.  “I multitask!,” cries out the perfectionist. And all these cries, and many more that could be easily expressed in a moments notice.

Are any of these cries wholly wrong, sinfully incorrect, or intellectually illogical? Absolutely not; well, maybe the ‘devil’s work’ one might be; after all, there are many busy hands doing the devil’s work. To be busy is honorable. To be busy is success. To be busy is very ‘righteous’. And yet . . .

For all that business, we are all so tired! Depression is an increasing ‘disease’ of society. Suicides are up. Divorces are up. Murders are up. People wig out at a moments notice. Now, STRESS is classified as a killer! What is wrong with all this works oriented, driven reasoning? Shouldn’t it produce a feeling of LIFE? Sadly, no. There can only be one source of true LIFE; eternal life. And that source is the one who said to all the tired busy people of his day: COME UNTO ME!

Martha was honorable. Mary was honored of the Lord. Paul was considered the best Apostle of all; yet, John is the one of whom it is said, ‘Him whom Jesus Loved’. Solomon was busiest of all, but his father David was called, ‘a man after mine own heart’; the psalmist is greater than ‘the preacher’.

Please, reconsider your priorities. Labor is good. But never forget to add to your labors the following item: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest…. (Hebrews 4:11)
© Anthony J. Massotti Th.M., Th.M. 3/28/2004

Original Quote by Pastor Anthony The noose gets loose when the goose gets cooked well done
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