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RTM Magazine

February Edition

Our monthly magazine, designed to help Christ's people grow in their knowledge of Christ and share in God's activities through RTM.

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Memoirs of Grace

God Moves Amidst Dominican Republic 

The month of January was quite full of ministry. On January 3rd, I embarked for the Dominican Republic. It was my first time in Latin America. The invitation came from Pastor Kelvin Candelario of the Walking by Faith Baptist Church of Santiago, DR. Upon arriving in Santiago, a city of nearly 7 million souls, we headed for a retreat center in the mountains, where for three days, I preached and taught from John 15.

Pastor Kelvin Candelario and Family

The church is in the inner city between two crack houses. Many times over the last three years, drug addicts have cried out for the church’s help. With time, Pastor Kelvin was thrust into a drug rehabilitation ministry. By faith, they believed God to lead them, and He did. He provided a compound of three houses where the men off the streets could live, and one house Kelvin moved him and his family into. I was impressed by this lone pastor’s skill and administrative wisdom to pastor a full-time church and lead the ministry to recovering addicts. 


At the retreat, both the drug rehab center and the church came together to hear God’s word. Pastor Kelvin translated as I preached what is the true essence of the Christian life. Many times, the presence of God was real to all, and times of prayer broke out after the meeting.


On Sunday, we met with the church and preached, while that evening, we gathered with the drug rehab center men for their Sunday evening service. It was there that I experienced the Lord’s active power both in my preaching and in the audience’s hearing. It is one of those times while preaching that you know the Holy Spirit is working through you. My mind was energized, and my mouth was filled with utterance. As I concluded the sermon, I was overwhelmed with what I experienced. I prayed and left the room and went outside to pray. I had to be alone with God and process what I had just experienced. While outside, I began to hear men cry out. I could hear weeping and prayers as the Spirit of the Lord settled upon the entire group. I do not know how long this lasted, but it was for quite a while. I never stepped back into the room but waited for the men to finish and come out. One by one, they exited the building where I was at the door to greet each one. Later that evening, Pastor Kelvin said to me, “These men are hardened men. I have never seen them weep, but not a one had dry eyes.”


One of the men from the center gave a brief handwritten letter to the pastor to give to me. I want to share a part of it with you.


For these things and more, we thank the Lord of all grace.

Brother Michael,


I appreciate what you have taught us. On the 26th of February 2015, my wife, the mother of my only son, died. I could not feel the love of God. I ended up on the streets in corruption and sin. I could not be a father to my children. I was in chains, having no love and without God. Your sermons have worked strongly in me. When you quoted John 14:28, I felt that God was speaking directly to me through you. I started to feel peace and a sense of contentment. When I read that verse, I knew why all that happened to me and I understood. I know God will change my life, and He has started through your message.

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Further Ministry

When I returned from the Dominican Republic, my attention was turned to starting the third season of our podcast, The Real Truth Matters Podcast. Along with the podcast, much effort went into launching our updated website. I am indebted to our new RTM associate evangelist, Nate Freeman, for the new website. He has worked so hard and long to give us this clean and resourceful website. We hope you enjoy using the site. The only thing we lack is indexing all the sermons so you can easily search them to find what sermon you want to listen to.  


The month was not over, and there was two more meetings to preach. The first was in the Grace Fellowship Church of Muskogee, OK, where Brother Brian McCawley is pastor. This is one of my favorite churches where the saints love the Word and will work a preacher. From Friday evening to Sunday, I preached seven times. Pastor McCawley was kind to give us this generous recommendation.


The Lord used Michael’s teaching on the parable of the vine and the branches to increase our understanding of the Christian life and draw us into deeper meditations on the necessity of abiding in Christ. We branches can truly do nothing apart from Christ, the life-giving vine.


From there, we went to Graham, TX, and preached for Redeemer Church, led by Pastor Ryan Bishop. Once again, the Lord worked among the congregates as I preached. Some could be seen wiping tears; others had countenances glowing with a beauty that showed they were seeing something of the glory of Christ. The entire service was special. From the commencement to the final benediction, the presence of the Lord was keenly sensed. I am very grateful for this church and its openness to the preached Word.


There is more we could tell, but I don’t want to bore you. Please keep Nate and me in your prayers. We need wisdom, strength, and much help. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to be all of this and more. Speaking for myself, I need so much grace to be more like our Lord Jesus. I can be of no heavenly good to any soul if I am too earthly, carnal, or self-centered. My heart needs the work of a greater physician than a mere man. Thankfully, we have such a one in our dear Savior. Save us, oh, Lord! We need thee!

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The Staff and Scroll



The Indefinable Holiness of God

By S. Michael Durham

God is holy: a simple fact, but not so simple to understand.

Holiness is a perplexing subject for many reasons. Namely, God is indefinable. To define God, you must define the word holy, and to describe holiness is to describe God. You’re back where you started— confused—only in addition, you now have a headache trying to understand my last

Holiness is the essence of who God is. Even His attributes cannot be described without the adjective holy. His love is holy; His justice is holy; His wisdom is holy, etc. Do you see the predicament?

One of the things that stand in the way of our getting an intellectual grip on the word holy is how we use the word in so many ways. The one word can be used so differently. For example, men call the pope “holy father” (I know the title is supposed to be capitalized, but I can’t bring myself to do it). The Dalai Lama is called a holy man. Why, we have even ascribed the bovine species as having distinguished members when it is exclaimed, “holy cow!” It is reported that “holy Toledo” originated as a sarcastic expression resulting from the high proportion of bars to churches in Toledo, Ohio, in the pre-World War I period (it was a standing joke that you could walk out of a church on one corner and enter a bar at the next). So, from religious leaders to sarcastic expressions, the word holy is used, misused, and abused.

I’m sure that Isaiah the prophet could not have given a very exact theological definition for holiness. But he saw it—he writes of what he saw: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1). He saw holiness because he saw God. Yet, after seeing holiness, he still could not define it.

But there was one thing he could define: he could express what wasn’t holy. His definition of the unholy started with himself. “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips.” Sin became obvious. Good intentions no longer blurred it. It wasn’t buried under excuses and rationalizations.

Sin becomes easily recognized when you see God. That is just one of many reasons you need to see His Majesty high and lifted up. It will help you to see sin more easily. Now, who wants to see sin when you can gaze upon God? It's a valid question, but it's faulty, nonetheless. It is not a matter of seeing one and not the other. To look upon the One who is holy will immediately readjust your vision, and sin will become obvious. Where sin is hidden, morphed into the background, now it stands in contrast and is easily identifiable. Where once the heart could justify it, now it will gladly betray sin and renounce its allegiance.

The point is to seek to see God, who is holy. Do not focus on your sin; focus on your God. And the need for definitions will be eliminated. So, whether you can define holiness or not, and the safe assumption is that you can’t, it is essential to know what isn’t holy. To understand what isn’t holy requires an acquaintance with the One who is.

Indeed, understanding the Holy is a quest that will always remain incomplete. However, all that can be known of the Holy defines everything else. Even if we cannot understand Him altogether, what we do know will give understanding to all else.

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