OUR PRECIOUS TESTIMONIES MINISTRY PURPOSE AND WHAT WE BELIEVE
Hi. We are Norm & Kathleen Rasmussen. Our primary purpose has been to help people connect with God in alignment with biblical Truth, and then help them become spiritually fruitful for Him. There is nothing more important than a person connecting with God. NOTHING. We each were created for that very purpose - to be properly connected with Him so we can begin glorifying Him with our lives in accordance with Truth.
Our method of helping people connect with Him is founded primarily on the New Testament Bible (Truth), although the Old Testament Bible certainly compliments the New Testament Bible when properly understood and correctly applied. Thus sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance with Matthew 24:14 & Luke 16:15 is our primary purpose. What "Good News" is that? That God Himself died for sinners -- so that you could have your sins forgiven, and that you can enjoy proper relationship - proper connection - with Him.
Living was never meant to be a mundane existence while waiting to die and "hoping" to get to go to heaven. Until you are properly united with the Creator of the universe, you may possibly live and die and miss the most important reason/s you were placed on this planet in the first place. You first must be saved - spiritually born again - to learn what the Creator has for you to accomplish for His glory and your eternal reward for doing so. It is our sincere hope you won't delay any longer, if you haven't already made this first most important step!
Another very important purpose in helping fulfill the first purpose is to challenge OTHER'S to pray about doing what we have been called to do ... which we believe is a universal call: "Declare God's Glory Among The Nations," (Psalms 96:3) and helping fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) through the use of Jesus-glorifying testimonies and ministry of the truth of God's Word regarding Eternal Salvation. Click here for an easy link to find out more about how you can get started: Starting A Testimony Ministry Of Your Own.
Every born again Christian owning a cell phone with video capability (use a friends if you don't have one yet) should be sharing how they became saved -- how they became spiritually born again -- how God has helped them overcome struggles we all deal with. There should be no exceptions. Then use YouTube (or any other service available that enables your testimony to be uploaded to the Internet) to put their testimony onto the Internet for God to use. God CAN'T use your testimony if you FIRST don't give it to Him to use. It's a simple as that.
Likewise, every born again Christian should write out their salvation testimony and share His goodness ... and make copies of it to hand out. There should be no exceptions.
Our salvation testimony is not ours to bury nor keep. It belongs to God and God has clearly communicated in His Word that you don't get if you don't give.
Another aspect of ministry God has called Kathleen and I to is Prison Outreach. Over the years, we've purposed to reach out to people behind prison walls under the umbrella of other ministries, as well as provided tapes, printed materials as we've been able to do so, as well as publish the testimonies prisoner's send to us, of course, in accordance with the laws of the State and our Federal Government. We have so treasured the prayers and encouragement of incarcerated brothers and sisters in Christ to help us continue in the call God has placed on our lives.
In summary ... we are trying to be used of God while we can to motivate other Christians to do what we are doing -- "Declaring God's glory among the nations" by publishing Jesus glorifying testimonies that point the unsaved to Jesus Christ to help fulfill the Great Commission.
Precious Testimonies Evangelistic Ministries is a non-denominational, 501-C-3 non-profit outreach ministry (IRS Tax Exempt Number: 38-3250120), allowing born again Christians the opportunity to glorify God publicly by sharing what Jesus Christ has done in their lives for the purpose of ministering to others, and giving video testimonies of others greater exposure. We are a faith based ministry, financed by the free-will offerings of those God impresses to sow into this outreach. You can click on the following link to see total donation amounts given for past years: Donations Given
Other Matters We Want People To Be Aware Of:
We attempt to be very discerning and wise about what we publish on this website. We purpose to always be a ministry of the highest integrity.
In so doing ... we reserve the right to not publish testimonies or messages that we don't have a peace about, and/or that have not been written in sufficient detail to be impacting and/or we feel doesn't line up with mainline interpretation nor spirit of the Holy Bible as we understand it and believe we must give an account to God for when God judges/rewards us for the content we allow to be published and/or endorsed through this ministry.
We are not able to guarantee the accuracy nor the authenticity of writings published on this site, though we strive to to make certain that each testimony is as accurate and authentic as possible with the available resources at our disposal to ensure such, and that they line up with God's Word sufficiently so as to keep others from following into deception and error. In addition, we check character references when possible to help confirm the authenticity of testimonies.
It should also be noted that we do not necessarily endorse all positions or beliefs testifiers and/or writers may express on this site, nor do we necessarily endorse all positions and/or beliefs of websites we link to. That does not mean to imply that we have the purest revelation of God's Word. It means that we want to show our readers we are able to disagree over minor doctrinal issues for the sake of God's higher good. We want to remain free of dogmatism and spiritual pride as much as we can, while still aligning ourselves up with the Word of God, because we're fully aware that "teachers of the Word will give a stronger accounting to God than those who haven't taught it." (See: James 3:1)
Though this is not exhaustive, we adhere to the following beliefs/positions:
1) That Jesus Christ is one of the three persons of the eternal Godhead. He is not to be elevated higher in deity to God the Father or God the Holy Spirit, but He is not to be viewed any less than either the Father or the Holy Spirit in regards to deity. He willfully submits His will to the Father, yet all things that the Father and the Holy Spirit has done, or ever will do, will be done for Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ. That Jesus was fully God before He came to earth in the form of a man, was fully God while He walked this earth for 33 years, (yet was also fully man for those 33 years), and will be fully God for all eternity. Upon His bodily resurrection, He went back to heaven as scripture records to sit at the right hand of God the Father. In Jesus Christ all wisdom and knowledge exists, to the glory of the Father.
2) That Old and New Testament scripture is the infallible Word of God, and is the only reliable source God has left with humanity to reveal Himself and how we are to serve Him and others. However, we do not endorse all modern-day translations of the Old and/or New Testament. Most scripture quotes on this site will either be quoted from the King James Translation, New King James Translation, and the New American Standard Translation.
3) That eternal salvation (deliverance from God's wrath [or punishment] for our sin) cannot be earned nor is it deserved. It is entirely a FREE GIFT from God to every person, based and given solely because of the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and can only be received, totally free, for the asking and secured during one's lifetime solely by ongoing trusting. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). God's grace and our trusting -- Grace plus faith plus nothing else. If we add anything to the "grace and faith," we are in violation of spreading deception, and not the truth. [If interested, you can read more in-depth about what we believe regarding Ephesians 2:8-9 by clicking on the following link: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/MEncouragerArchives/SalvationIssues.htm ]
Included under this topic are these beliefs: That the giving of money and to where it is given will not bring eternal salvation, nor will it continue to secure eternal salvation. Giving of all kinds falls under "sowing and reaping" (rewards from God) and appreciation for God's "love, mercy and grace," and "obedience to His will for ones life," . . . having NOTHING to do with "getting saved," or "staying saved."
That assembling with other Christians (called "church attendance" in most circles), being connected with a particular denomination, water baptism, or any other spiritual discipline(s) or traditions . . . do not obtain eternal salvation, nor will they secure eternal salvation. Faith (trust) in what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross is the only thing that saves us from our sins, and that faith is provided to us solely by God's grace. Nevertheless, we in no way want to imply that being connected to a group of like-minded born again believers is not important, nor minimize the importance of water baptism. We believe Romans Chapter 6 addresses issues regarding water baptism and victory over sin that should never be trivialized, and in our opinion, a follower of Jesus Christ is extremely wise in being baptized in water by full immersion if at all possible. It was the experience of the first disciples of Jesus Christ, so how can a disciple of Jesus Christ today go wrong following the acts of of the earliest disciples? (Here is a writing that explains some additional thoughts on water baptism, in case you are interested: WHAT NAMES OR NAME IS THE PROPER WAY TO BE WATER BAPTIZED?).
4) That "the church" is not the name of a denomination, nor is it a "place" built with human hands. Each truly born again Christian is uniquely the living temple of God, each being a member that makes up the universal, world-wide Church at large, commonly known in scripture as The Body of Christ. Where truly born again Christians assemble, that's where the church is. In other words, when those individual church members scatter, "the church" also scatters.
5) That any gifts of the Holy Spirit are not the "evidence" of one being "filled with the Holy Spirit," (See: Ephesians 5:18-21) but that I Corinthians Chapter 13, unconditional love toward God and others, and our obedience to His Word is the measurement or gauge by which born again Christians should measure themselves when self-examining the fullness of the Holy Spirit inside themselves. A close second "evidence" would be the "fruits of the Holy Spirit" as listed in Galatians 5:22-23, and love happens to be first on the list of those nine fruits.
6) That all sin is forgivable by God -- past, present, and future, when sincere confession to God is made of that sin, and forgiveness is asked for from Him. (We base this on 1 John 1:9). We believe holding unforgiveness against someone is every bit as much a sin as any other, (Matthew 6:15: "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses") and we leave room for the strong possibility that Matthew 6:15 can overrule 1 John 1:9 if someone refuses to forgive another. However ... God is the Judge, and we are not. God can obviously do whatever He wants.
That sin does not change God the Father's unconditional love toward sinner or saint. Yet God's unconditional love does not in and of itself keep a person from going to hell. (If you would like to know more about why we believe this, you can click on this link: WHY WOULD A LOVING GOD SEND SOMEONE TO HELL?)
That sin does not completely separate God from the truly born again believer, but that sin can cause the believer to separate himself or herself from God due to anger at God, guilt and the great possibility of a growing hardness of heart toward God and His Truth. We also take the position that the favor of God can be removed from someone engaging in on-going sin, as a form of God's chastisement and discipline. Thus we believe on-going sin in a born again believer's life is to be acknowledged to God, asked forgiveness for, and continually diligently asking and trusting God for help to overcome future temptation of that sin. God's best for a person is not constantly having to forgive them for committing sin over and over, but rather, ultimately seeing that person set free of their sins. Flowing in the power of the Holy Spirit and using the spiritual weapons God has given His people is totally sufficient in helping us become free of strongholds of sin in our life.
That on-going sin, whether acknowledged as sin or not, gives Satan legal grounds to gain a potential foothold in a believer, as God allows. (Ephesians 4:26-27 is a strong eye-opener for anyone who believes God takes ongoing sin lightly, and/or believing there are no consequences to be suffered).
That all necessary power is generously provided by God to the believer to overcome every besetting sin, and that there is also no condemnation to that believer in the sight of God when forgiveness is asked for from Him for that sin because it has been forgiven when we ask. (See: Romans 6:6-14) However, all power may not be imparted to a believer if they have not sought for the fullness of the Holy Spirit and are convinced they have received power from on high that was poured out on believers on the day of Pentecost as is recorded in the book of Acts. "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" (See: Acts 19:2) is every bit as valid a question today as it was back then in our opinion.
Sometimes Christians miss a very "interesting" CONTRAST God provides for us in Luke 4. When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river, scripture plainly states that He was "filled with the Holy Spirit." Shortly thereafter scripture then states that the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tested. After 40 days of being tested, we are then told in Luke 4:14: Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. Many bible scholars believe Jesus was not yet equipped with sufficient power to begin His ministry until He was fully empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so. We tend to agree.
One can claim they are completely filled with the Holy Spirit -- or saying it another way: One can claim they received all of the Holy Spirit one is capable of receiving when they got Saved (born again) ... which would seem to be what happened with Jesus when He got water baptized. Yet there is no indication that He was walking in the full POWER of the Holy Spirit until a later date to do the miraculous things he did, and to withstand all of the devil's attacks against Him during His time of ministry.
Therefore ... we believe every Christian is wise to periodically, diligently seek God - being fully honest about the matter - asking God to reveal to them any hindrances that is restricting them from walking in the FULL POWER God has available for them to walk in, to fulfill the call God has on their life. And, how many of us would be willing to fast for 40 days to get it, if that is what would be necessary to be trusted with it? That is not to imply that God wants every Christian to go on a 40 day fast. I'm simply challenging each of us to ask ourselves this very important question: "At what price am I willing to pay to receive all the power of the Holy Spirit that is available to me, now that I'm a born again Christian?" (Power can be measured by reading 1 Corinthians 12 where God speaks of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; 1 Cor. 14 gives guidance in using those Holy Spirit given gifts so we don't abuse them and/or misuse them).
I believe the greatest reasons God wants to fully empower us with His Spirit is threefold: 1): To have the resolve and supernatural power to help conquer besetting sins; 2): To be bold witnesses with a strong desire to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to the lost, and to minister more effectively to God's people; 3): To wage more effective spiritual warfare so that the attacks of Satan are minimized.
If people would like to hear about receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (power from God), they can click: HERE
A special note on this topic: We are fully aware of the division in the Body of Christ over this matter of "being baptized in the Holy Spirit," and we do not want to project ourselves as being any "authority" on the matter, nor do we want to unduly feed this division. We take the position that God knows exactly what each of us need to serve Him at any given time and place in our relationship with Him, and most likely ... none of us know all there is to know about the Holy Spirit, and our need for Him. Personally ... we feel it is simply wisdom to ever seek for MORE of the Holy Spirit's power to make us more Christ-like ... especially over areas of sin in our lives -- yet NEVER let the devil dump undo condemnation on us if things aren't happening the way we might like or presume should be happening, or others think should be happening. It is humility that God has said He will pour out more grace to, and spiritual pride He resists: (Having this attitude, in other words: "I have all the spiritual answers, so listen to ME!").
Scripture actively admonishes believers to constantly be diligent to seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit (See: Ephesians 5:18) and to be active in desiring gifts of the Holy Spirit, but nowhere are believers clearly challenged in the Bible to actively seek to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts, references are made concerning it, but nowhere else does the Holy Spirit clearly confirm it in scripture. But by the same token, countless thousands if not millions of Christians can testify of major power coming into their lives when they sought for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with lasting fruit following, so we are not going to relegate their experience in all situations to the counterfeit working of Satan like some want to.
Many people ask if I'm a Pentecostal or a Charismatic. I tell them I'm a Charismatic, but by MY definition. A true-blue Pentecostal says that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is evidenced by the speaking in tongues. A true-blue Charismatic says that tongues is just one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, and speaking in tongues or operating in any of the other eight Holy Spirit gifts is not evidence of either being Baptized in the Holy Spirit nor being filled with the Holy Spirit. It simply is a spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit to anyone He desires to give it to. However, it seems to be the first gift God imparts to believers, and the reason WHY most likely has to do with keeping their spirit strong. A weak spirit makes the rest of us weak. A healthy spirit makes the rest of us healthy. Feeding our mind on the Word of God helps feed our human spirit. Praying "In The Spirit" is also a means for those who have the gift of tongues to strengthen their spirit. Personally, I want everything God has for me to help me keep my spirit healthy!
I also tell people if they want to know how much of the Holy Spirit I have on any given day ... ask my wife just how Christ- like I am around her behind closed doors! She just MAY give you an ear full! How I treat my wife and how my wife treats me will tell you more about one's relationship with God than all the "correct theology" we want to come up as far as I'm concerned, concerning issues of how much of the Holy Spirit may or may not be in me. Yes - by faith, I have all of the Holy Spirit to accomplishing every God wants to accomplish in me (See: Galatians 3:2). No - by reality, most likely, I come up short daily, though I'm not going to receive condemnation for it in an unwise manner!
Hopefully the one thing people will come to see about Precious Testimonies is that we are "very up front" about the necessity to become Born Again. That is what we see God puts much priority on in scripture, because one cannot possibly talk about being "born again" and try to leave "salvation" or "becoming saved" out of the conversation (or equation).
The scriptures do not clearly tell anyone HOW to become spiritually born again, but WHEN they do become born again ... scriptures state you'll eventually know it by "Christ-like fruit". Scriptures do not clearly tell anyone HOW to be baptized fully in the Holy Spirit either, but scriptures states that when you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, it will bear "Spirit-like fruit" as well. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is clearly defined in Galatians 4:22-23. Galatians 5:24 is all any of us really need to know about whether we are fully "born again" and/or fully "filled with the Spirit." How I am cooperating with God to conquer areas of sin in my life is the mark of true Christian maturity. If Christians can't agree on this ... GOD HELP US!
I personally would rather be around a Christian who simply loves to talk about Jesus and what He accomplished for us on the Cross and is essentially ignorant of the Bible ... than a Christian who claims to know everything there is about what is contained in the Bible, and has a very difficult time stating publicly: "This is what I believe about this or that in the Bible, but you know WHAT? I might be deceived, so make CERTAIN you study the Bible for yourself and see what the Holy Spirit imparts to YOU about this matter or that." To me, that is the bedrock foundation for TRUE Christ-likeness. From this foundation of humility, all else springs forth that is worthwhile for eternity. I don't have to try to prove to anyone that what I believe about the Bible is RIGHT. I'll tell you what I believe, if you ask me, if it serves a worthwhile purpose, but I might also tell you the Holy Spirit hasn't imparted full revelation yet of a matter, and until I'm confident that He HAS - I'm fine if HE'S fine with me not having sufficient revelation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone that 'I'm not sure yet what I believe about this or that in the Bible.' God is looking for people whose number one purpose regarding spiritually is to OBEY the New Testament Bible in proper context -- not understand everything there is to understand about the New Testament Bible. The number one criteria in seeking to obey the New Testament Bible is to call sin SIN - and am I guilty of that sin(s) or am I not? If I AM guilty, I'm to confess that sin(s) to God, receive His forgiveness, and do everything in my power and the help of the Holy Spirit's power to strive to STOP giving place to that sin in the future. This is kind of obedience God is looking for.
Many of the religious folks that were in opposition to Jesus during His three-and-a-half-year ministry believed they were more spiritually in tune with God than Jesus was. Those who were humble enough to admit they didn't have to have all the answers about spiritual matters were the ONE'S who the Holy Spirit was able to reveal WHO Jesus Christ truly WAS and IS. They were humble while those who resisted Jesus were spiritually prideful. Spiritual pride is the most lethal weapon Satan uses to trip us up. Spiritual pride manifests itself in it's greatest deceptive form in those who claim to have all the answers about spiritual matters, yet refuses to admit that perhaps what they have come to believe about certain spiritual matters is not proper understanding of the Holy Scriptures, or the wisdom the Holy Scriptures imparts to those who PURPOSE to remain humble in heart. Here is another excellent writing on the topic: The Eight Rules of Biblical Interpretation.
One final word on all of what I've been addressing in Topic 6: There is are important differences between CONFUSION verses saying that "I'm not certain I have full revelation on a given issue in the Bible." Satan's strategy is to use ones confusion to try to confuse others - passing it along. Humility would rather stay silent on a matter where there is uncertainty, rather than risk spreading possible deception. If you read the book: A DIVINE REVELATION OF HELL ... if you keep an open mind, you see that people who claimed to be spiritual authorities while alive yet were deceived - and spreading their perversion/s of Truth during their lifetime -- nothing angered God more! Thus being deceived and taking that deception to the grave is one matter, but taking every opportunity while one is alive to pass our deception on to OTHERS is going to bring a more stricter judgment. James 3:1 clearly warns us of such:
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
7) That doctrinal positions or beliefs that have little to do with eternal salvation by the free gift of grace; that Jesus Christ was fully man yet fully God; that Jesus Christ never sinned; that Jesus Christ resurrected after three days in bodily form; that modern-day acceptable translations of the Bible such as the King James and the New King James, New American Standard, etc., have been sufficiently translated and the accuracy preserved to find them the ultimate source of Truth, the absolute beginning and final authority on spiritual matters -- these are "non-negotiable issues." Many other doctrinal positions on scripture are "negotiable issues," and are not to be elevated to the point where spiritual pride is allowed to gain a foothold in a born again believer's life.
8) That no one specific modern translation of the Holy Bible is to be elevated above another to the place that it is believed to be the only accurate translation from the original Greek and Hebrew texts. That several different, accepted modern translations have been sufficiently and accurately translated from the original Greek and Hebrew texts so as to be completely trustworthy for God to communicate to His people what they need to know to live in knowledge and obedience to Him. Having said thus ... it seems that every year that passes, more and more translations of the Bible are being made available, and many of them we label as "questionable" in reliability and/or accuracy -- thus we interject the following ...
Personally ... as Founder and Director of this outreach, my wife and I use the original King James translation as our number one trusted translation, though we prefer the New King James translation as our favorite to read and study, simply because it is easer for us to understand. Where there is any question of reliability of individual word usage or thought or application, we always go to the original King James translation for comparison, but we also check the other trusted Bible translations. Having said that, there are places in the King James Translation we do not believe is a wise translation ... thus the need to study various accepted translations when hearing accurately from the Holy Spirit about what a person is to believe.
9) We believe in a literal hell and a literal heaven.
We have addressed only a few of the many issues here that are commonplace within Christianity that seem to divide the Body Christ more than it unites them at times, it seems ... not to mention bringing confusion to non-believers and newborn babes in Christ. Our constant prayer is that we don't add even more confusion than what already exists! Furthermore, we do not claim to be sole authorities of what the Bible is trying to communicate to God's people either. If you feel we are in clear violation of God's Word in what gets printed on this website, please feel free to make us aware of your objections. We would rather admit we are wrong now in what we believe than have to hang our head before God when our Judgment time comes! We take James 3:1 very seriously.
Please also be aware that at the present time, this is a two person ministry: My wife, Kathleen, and I. We are engaged in many different aspects of outreach ministry, and have little time to answer questions these days that does not specifically involve one's testimony and our publishing it. We do not encourage people to email us either and ask us questions about what they should do in their personal life; questions about God nor the Bible, simply because we have not be called to be internet Pastors nor counselors. Our primary call is to publish written and videotaped testimonies, and on occasion I write messages and record videos with the purpose to help encourage born again believers when I feel impressed of the Lord to do so, as well as challenge the lost to surrender to Jesus Christ, but I'm growing much older as is my dear wife, so we aren't able to do all the things for the Lord that we once we able to do. We are engaged in prison ministry as we're able so that also takes a great deal of our time, so we apologize in advance if we are not able to help you as you might like.
Thank you, and may God richly bless you, as you seek to walk closer with Him!
Norm Rasmussen, Founder, Precious Testimonies, June 2014