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September 1, 2017, 2:25 PM

Full Service or Self Service? - Guest Blog: Pastor R.W. Townsley

My first hourly job was working at a Gulf gas station in Wharton, Texas. I was twelve years old, in the seventh/eighth grade, and was making 75 cents per hour. When a car pulled up to the pump, I went into action. I asked if they wanted me to fill’er up and what kind, regular or premium. Once the gas started pumping, I would clean every window on their car and check the wiper blades. Next, I popped the hood to check the fluids: the oil and the radiator, particularly. If the oil was low, I would tell them and make my recommendation which was either let me add some or you will need to keep an eye on it so you won’t damage your engine. I would close the hood and ask them if I could check their tire pressure. We were a full service gas station. There was even a bay for the mechanic to do minor work as needed.

More than once, a flat would come in. I would jack up the car, remove the wheel, and proceed to break the tire from the rim. Locating the puncture, I would then do the needed patch. Step by step, the tire was remounted.

After topping of the tank, I would take their money and go inside to the cash register to finish the sale. Giving them their change, I bid them to have a good day and thanked them for the business.

It is difficult to find a full service station anymore. The advent of the self-service gas stations changed everything. People began filling up their own cars. In a hurry, they would seldom check their oil. For fear of getting scalded, they would just forget about the water in the radiator. The belts were not being checked for wear and the tires still “looked good”. The self-service station became a convenience store also. You could now run in an grab a drink, a candy bar, maybe a donut, some gum, chips of various kind,…..surely there is something to stop that hungry feeling until you have time to really get a meal. “Something-to-tide-me-over” became standard fare. Not only did the condition of automobiles start going down a dramatic downhill slope, so did the condition of the driver and passengers. Neglect became habitual and normal.

Similarly, churches across America began to shift from full-service to self-service stations. Expectations shifted. Instead of a bay for repairs, they expect a buffet of refreshments. You only have black coffee? You must be kidding, right? They must have a huge selection of flavors and options! Bigger seems better. More and more go to stations that offer them more, much more, than quality gas and the basic full-service. Full service has become loads of goodies, sweets, and chicken tenders, with a choice of dipping sauces, of course. Inspections of the heart and regular maintenance became compromised and the condition of souls was neglected, if not ignored. To wait for someone to go over a checklist and carefully examine lives wears on their schedule and patience. In a hurry, they run in long enough to grab a snack of their choice, say hello and be friendly, and then excuse themselves as they head back out on the road again. Aren’t these cup holders the greatest thing since sliced bread?!

Hey, turn up the stereo, that squeak from the brakes is grating on my nerves!

Have a good and safe day!


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April 23, 2017, 12:00 AM

America, Christianity, and Eternity

Most of you will never read (although you should) the book called "The Family" - Jeff Sharlet. In it he discusses the way Christian Fundamentalism has sought for power under the guise of religious humility - using the name of Jesus Christ. The book challenges and explains the rise of Fundamentalism in America and how it became perverted by an elite group of men particularly in the 1920's into the present.

The Family is a secretive society however, they have an annual publicized gathering called the National Prayer Breakfast. "Some 3,000 dignitaries, representing scores of nations and corporate interests, pay $425 each to attend" (p.22). According to an internal planning document, "the Koran could even be read, but Jesus is there! He is infiltrating the world" (p.24).

The roots of The Family are firmly planted in Buchmanism and Abramism - Dr. Abraham Vereide was the initial founder of The Family. The Fellowship has recast the language of empire into theology.

Interestingly, it is Republican presidents that so often speak of nation building in theological terms. When one includes the code words "safety", "Christian responsibility", and "Jesus" into the political dialogue, the Christian movement by and large goes along. However, " is Christianity itself that has prevented fundamentalists, America's most authoritarian demographic, from embracing the cult of personality around which fascist states are organized" (p.133).

That is a remarkable statement but one that will soon be incorrect because America and the vast majority of "Christians" are looking for someone that can save them - never before have e been so ripe to accept the anti-Christ.

"The NAE saw socialism and separatism as opposite ends of the spectrum of the beast known as secularism." At the second convening of the National Association of Evangelicals, "personal legalisms" - church standards of separation (holiness) - were relegated to none issues in view of the larger goal, making a Christian nation. Therefore, all were okay so long as Jesus Christ was embraced for the greater good of the nation and a select few in power, "Come on in, said the populist front, whether you speak in tongues and wave your hands on Sunday or sit on them and tsk, tsk at the sweat and tears of the holy rollers. Its fundamentalism was not theological; it was American. The totalitarianism of God, unlike that of man, welcomed all true believers" (p.155).

For these reasons and more, the American political and religious upheaval exists today. Jesus is coming soon and it would behoove us as Apostolic brethren to not be so enamored with the cause of America, as much as the cause of Jesus Christ. The political world is not extolling the same Jesus we do. The extent that it is doing so today is for the same purposes that Constantine embraced the concept of Christianity in his day - power and world domination.

Luke 21:7-9 (KJV)  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

2 Timothy 3:13 (KJV)  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Jesus is coming back again - not for Americans, Russians, Japanese, Iraqi's, Africans, Israeli's, and such like. He is returning for His bride. Those that have been born again of water and Spirit ( John 3:3-5 & Acts 2:38) and that have made themselves ready to see Him (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). For all others that reject His gospel and authority, only judgment, everlasting punishment, and hell await (Revelation 21:8).  As for me, I am, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" Titus 2:13-14 (KJV)


06-13-2017 at 1:43 AM
David P
Finally got a round "to-it" and enjoyed reading the blog. Will order the book.
04-30-2017 at 12:56 PM
Brian Enochs
Thoroughly enjoy your cd, "Oh, Say But I'm Glad," our "after church" jam sessions and your ministry to us at Life Tabernacle. Thank-you for being sensitive to the Holy Ghost and pouring out your heart to us. I can't wait to see what God has in store for Life Tab, between now and His return! God bless you my friend!
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February 9, 2017, 8:51 PM

The Purpose and Work of the Holy Ghost

Howdy to all interested parties! It is with great excitment that I announce the completion and availability of my newest book: The Purpose and Work of the Holy Ghost.

Already I have been notified that it is in the process of being translated into Portugese in order to reach the lost and instruct the saved in Brazil!!! Glory to God!

Here's the book summary:

The Purpose and Work of the Holy Ghost provides answers to many perplexing questions that many people have about the Holy Ghost. Such as, “Why do the majority of Christian denominations disagree with teaching the essentiality of receiving the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking with other tongues?” “Can a person manifest the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ without having received the Spirit?” “Did the Holy Spirit operate only in the New Testament?” And, “What is the purpose for and work of the Holy Ghost in the life of a Christian?” 

In an age of increasing spiritual darkness and the proliferation of false doctrines – even by those who once believed truth – the light of God’s Word shines even brighter. The Purpose and Work of the Holy Ghost traces the history of the Holy Ghost as It moves within the Old Testament  to Its New Testament indwelling  and continued manifestation through the church and individual believers using the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. It is suitable for new converts, theologians and anyone in between. 

Print Edition: $8.00

Kindle Edition: $4.99

***Please leave a comment below if you purchase either edition! I would love to know how it is being used to strengthen the saints and bring revelation to the lost.

Thank you for your interest and may the Lord Jesus richly bless you!



11-19-2017 at 9:27 PM
Steve Walker
Tremendous book! When applied this book WILL make you more effective in His Kingdom. Thank you brother...
03-05-2017 at 3:11 PM
Brent Crosswhite
Just got my copy! I have enjoyed the journey as the author takes me through the halls of Truth. The Purpose Work of the Holy Ghost turns the light on to the blurred lines and misconceptions about the Holy Ghost but yet leads into a deeper realm of understanding.
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January 5, 2017, 12:00 AM

The Fine Art of Apostasy Pt. 1

I find it amazing that many things folks once backslid to do are now permissible to do and still be saved. Truly we are seeing the scripture fulfilled: "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." 2 Peter 2:19-21

Beware when you hear these who have discovered the liberty of rebellion make the statement - "What's the difference between..." Their question is not an honest one. They are looking to justify carnal reasoning and sinful actions. Never is that question asked in the fear of the Lord desiring to draw closer to the righteousness and holiness of the Lord Jesus.

Just as carnal believers rejected Jesus, Paul, John, and the rest of God called prophets and preachers - so do the same spiritually rebellious reject God called voices today. Do they feel liberty? Yes! Do they talk in tongues? Yes! Do they see miracles? Yes! However, all of those things are signs pointing towards salvation NOT salvation. Salvation is still based upon obedience to God's Word - ALL of it - not only the parts that one enjoys.

Most of the generation of Apostolic folks I was raised around no longer believe what was once taught and preached. They will say they believe Acts 2:38 but not the standards - the two are inseparable. Several have went off into false doctrine. Many are backslid and reject the Pentecostal/Apostolic experience - calling it legalistic and Pharisaical.

I have always thanked God that although there was much physical and sexual abuse directed towards me by folks in the church, I never doubted the absolutes of Acts 2:38 salvation, standards of separation, and the need to evangelize our world that Bro Howard Davis preached and practiced.

I had no desire to hang out with backsliders and allow them to vomit their hatred, bitterness, and unbelief on me. I simply accepted the fact that Joe Savala was angry, bitter, and morally messed up and could never live successfully for God. Almost 23 years ago God in His mercy allowed me to return home under the leadership of Bro N.J. Wilson and I made up my mind to serve Jesus Christ according to the Truth that had been instilled in me throughout the years. Since that time, it's never been for sale and it never will be.

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3

More to come....


03-20-2017 at 6:53 PM
Bill McNulty
Amen and Amen . This is exactly what is needed . . . a clear note and a certain sound ! Thank You ! By the way my daughter was excited and said she heard you testify at IYC .
01-06-2017 at 1:59 PM
Russell Frazier
Delusion is a final destination....
Great post!
01-05-2017 at 5:01 PM
Clif Crosby II
01-05-2017 at 3:37 PM
Brent Crosswhite
The bitter backslidden seems to always have their arm drawn back into a fist instead of holding to the plow. it takes both hands to hold on effectively. Thanks for the "Certain Sound" I hear while reading this message.
01-05-2017 at 3:29 PM
Rick McGuffey
All of Pentecost needs to read this. Thank you!
01-05-2017 at 3:25 PM
Ron Townsley
Thanks for saying it.
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January 4, 2017, 10:39 AM

The Holy Ghost Dove - Why?

Excerpt from my soon to be released book - The Purpose and Work of the Holy Ghost:

John the Baptist, cousin of the Lord Jesus, did not know who the Messiah would be. However, God had told John, “…upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33, KJV). From this we can conclude, that what John heard and saw was a private revelation to confirm to him the Word of God, and the identity of the Messiah. The revelation was never intended to establish a triune concept of the Godhead.

Notice the following comparisons of the same event:

  • “…and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove…” (Matthew 3:16, KJV)
  • “…the Spirit like a dove descending…” (Mark 1:10, KJV)
  • “…the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove…” (Luke 3:22, KJV)

It is from these passages of scripture that some consider the Holy Ghost to be a ‘third person’ of the Godhead. Of course, there is a tremendous difference between the shape of a bird and the shape of a person.  It is understood that there are not many Spirits of God but rather an unfolding revelation of how THE Spirit of God operates His sovereign will in various ways. None of the gospel writers were present when Jesus was baptized. However, all recorded the story as it was related to them and it is likely that Matthew, John, and Mark heard the story straight from the mouth of Jesus. [1]

However, the scriptures state that the Holy Ghost was “…like a dove...” It was not a dove: rather the Spirit of God took on a “…bodily shape like a dove...” so that John the Baptist would see the sign upon Jesus Christ, as He was being baptized.

For comparison, the scripture states that the day after John baptized Jesus, “…John seeth Jesus…and saith, Behold the Lamb of God…” (John 1:29, KJV). Few, if any, believe that John the Baptist saw a literal lamb walking down the road. It is understood, that John was speaking of Jesus and linking Jesus’ ultimate human destiny to be the sinless and spotless sacrificial Lamb [2] for all humanity, and to simultaneously fulfill the Old Covenant’s laws and judgments for sin.[3]

Why? Why did God choose the appearance of a dove to manifest His Spirit upon the man, Jesus Christ? [4] No one knows for sure but there is room for opinions so long as they do not pervert the truth of God’s sacred Word!

We do know the Lord God purposefully chose the animal type that would forever be linked with His Spirit. He did not choose the fox for its cunning, the cheetah for its swiftness, the lion for its power, or the peacock for its beauty. No, God Almighty chose the lowly dove with which to associate His Holy Ghost.

The first mention of a dove is recorded in Genesis chapter eight, after God had judged the wickedness of the ancient world with the Great Flood.[5] Noah released the dove three times. The dove found no place to rest during its first flight. When it returned from its second flight, it had an olive leaf in its beak.

The olive leaf merits some discussion. The olive leaf is symbolic of new life, hope, and peace, as is the Holy Ghost.[6] When the olive is crushed, olive oil is produced. The olive is a type of Christ, who was crushed at Gethsemane. And the oil is a type of the Holy Ghost, poured out on the Day of Pentecost. [7]

Throughout the Bible, the anointing oil was poured upon God’s chosen vessels. The anointing oil of the Spirit is also upon every believer. [8] In addition, the scripture instructs the New Testament believers to anoint the sick with oil during prayers for healing of the body and the mind.[9]

Pardon the road trip - let’s get back to the Dove. On its third and final flight, the dove did not return. This indicated that the dove had found a place of rest other than the ark, and that the earth was ready for humanity to live upon it once again.

Now, the characteristics of the dove merit consideration. Doves are not carnivorous and constantly move their wings except when they are gliding to rest upon a certain place. Doves are most generally pictured as white in color, and within the scriptures, the color white most frequently represents purity and or holiness.[10]  A dove cries easily when it is harassed or in great danger, and the Christian believer intercedes for both personal needs and those of others through the power of the Holy Ghost [11]in times of distress and indecision. The dove is known as a harmless creature. Likewise, the saints have been instructed by Jesus to be harmless as a dove.[12]

 So, it can be inferred in a very credible sense that the Holy Ghost was momentarily manifested in the form of a dove for three significant reasons:

  1. A visible sign to and for John the Baptist
  2. To reveal the character of the Spirit upon and within Jesus Christ
  3. To reveal how the Holy Ghost was to influence future New Covenant believers


End Notes:

[1] Early Christian authors such as Papias, Irenaeus (author of the Muratorian Canon), Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and Jerome, were unanimous in attributing this gospel to a "Mark" who was a close associate of the Apostle Peter (“Gospel of Mark.” 10 Nov. 2015. Web. Accessed 28 Sep. 2016.

[2]…You know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or spot (1 Peter 1:18-19, KJV)

[3] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17, KJV)

[4] Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you… Acts 2:22 (KJV). The phrasing of this verse does not allow for a trinitarian or even “twinitarian” theology. Peter, in speaking to monotheistic Jews, was establishing the fact that the man, Christ Jesus, was the incarnation of the Mighty Spirit of God that they claimed to serve and love.

[5] The world was judged once by water, but the second judgment will be that of fire. (see 2 Peter 3:1-10).

[6] For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17, KJV).

[7] …the Holy Ghost…Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior (Titus 3:5-6, KJV).

[8] …hath anointed us, is God. Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, KJV).

[9] Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church: and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14, KJV).

[10] …they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy (Revelation 3:4, KJV). Another meaning for the word ‘white’ in the text is to be bright or shining which denotes glory. An alternate consideration is the white of leprosy as evidence by Miriam (Numbers 12:10-12).

[11]…for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26, KJV)

[12]…be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16, KJV). That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God… (Philippians 2:15, KJV)


01-06-2017 at 2:02 PM
Russell Frazier
Read the transcript, all I can say is wow! I will definitely everyone of my Bible school students purchase this book.
01-04-2017 at 12:27 PM
Rick McGuffey
I enjoyed reading this excerpt and wait with anticipation for the final book. Joseph Savala's works just keep getting better... and they started out really good!
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