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Melchizedek

Hello Pastor John.

I don’t recall ever hearing it discussed but did Melchizedek only have man’s kind of righteousness? Considering he was the “king of righteousness” and the fact that Abraham paid tithes to him and not much else is known about him. I assume he didn’t have God’s righteousness but I’ve never heard it said, or at least I don’t remember hearing about him specifically.

Robert A. Payne, L. G.

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Hi, Bob.

Thanks for the question.

It was impossible for anyone to possess God’s kind of righteousness before God’s extraordinary Son came and paid the price for it. “King of Righteousness” is the meaning of the name “Melchizedek”; the true King of Righteousness is the Son of God, of whom righteous Melchizedek was only a figure, like Abraham, David, and many others.

Pastor John

Today’s Message

Brother John,

I wrote this down today on my papers.  I felt like it was what you were saying to us all:

Everything created on earth is just a tool to this end: What does God want me to do?

Jerry

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Pastor John,

Everything you said today felt beautifully perfect and perfectly beautiful! 

Beth D.

Thankful for Clear Directions

Pastor John,

Wednesday night’s meeting was so good! Thank you for feeding us the words of life! They are so precious! 

One thing that stood out to me was something Rob said in his testimony about needing help on what to do as he was caring for Joel when he was sick with Covid. Rob asked Jesus to make it very clear on what he should do. I have been writing out my testimony about the events that lead up to our decision to get the vaccine after our exposure to Covid in the mountain house, so I wanted to share it. I am very grateful how Jesus can make things very clear for us when we don’t know what to do. 

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic things have really changed. Some of the changes have been wonderful blessings but other changes have seemed to cause division and confusion. One of the areas of concern surrounding the virus has been the vaccine.

I have heard scientific data as to why we should get the vaccine and the natural immunity arguments as to why we shouldn’t get it. The information about the virus and the vaccines is ever changing and people’s attitudes toward all of it, at times, has been very alarming no matter which side of the argument they fall on. I have heard of nurses and other healthcare workers who quit their jobs because they refused to take the vaccine. While other medical workers plead with everyone to get the vaccine to help save lives. I had been praying for Jesus to help make it clear which direction we should go regarding the vaccine. I wanted to stay neutral and let Jesus provide direction.

I feel like Jesus set us up to go on an unplanned trip to the mountains to help make things very clear on which way to go. We were going to stay in the mountains from Sunday to Wednesday afternoon. The trip was wonderful and we had a very sweet time with everyone. We were having such a great time that we stayed an extra night. 

While we were on the trip, we visited with Joel N. when he unknowingly had Covid. Staying at the house that extra night, we spent several hours with Joel which gave us a significant exposure to the virus. Richard and I left on Thursday morning and our girls stayed another night returning with the Nelsons on Friday.

On Sunday morning, I pulled up Facebook and on my Newsfeed there was a post by one of my former co-workers that I stopped to read. Normally I would skim past such posts about Covid and vaccines but this time I stopped and read it. It was an article written by a physician that has worked on a Covid unit since the beginning of the pandemic. He spoke of how hard it was to watch patient after patient struggle to breathe. It was physically and emotionally draining for him and all the staff to take care of these people and watch them die from the virus. 

One of the striking things he said in the article was that he was having a difficult time mustering up compassion for patients that are now coming into the hospital struggling to breathe and then dying because they have made a choice not to vaccinate. 

The physician spoke about one man in particular that had come into the hospital with Covid. The man was around my age, married, and had young children. The physician asked him why he chose not to get vaccinated. The man’s reasons sounded similar Richard’s reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated. The man eventually died in the hospital. The physician felt people were dying unnecessarily since there was now a vaccine that can help decrease the chance of dying from Covid.

At the end of the article he wrote: “Covid will find you!” When I read that, the words jumped off the page at me. I clicked off Facebook and saw I had a text message from Donna N. telling us that Joel was very sick. He was in the ER with a high fever and had tested positive for Covid. Covid had found us!

Up to that point we had been so careful. We had been diligent in staying as safe as we could to keep ourselves, our children, and the ones we love safe. We had done our part to the best of our ability. But yet, there it happened, we were unknowingly exposed to Covid. I felt more strongly than ever like it was ok to get the vaccine. I told Richard about the article from the physician and how he said Covid would find us. Richard told me I was free to get it if I wanted but he still did not have the feeling to get it. 

Later that same morning my dad called and told Richard of a dream he had a couple days before. It was a strange dream and my dad wasn’t going to tell him about it but given our virus exposure from the mountain trip, he felt he should tell the dream. Richard and I both felt like the dream was a message from Jesus letting him know he was unnecessarily exposing our family and others to the virus and that it was ok to get vaccinated. When Jesus gives us a clear direction it makes everything else nothing (our thoughts, opinions, research, reservations) and brings a huge relief. I am thankful for Jesus’ help in this crazy time. His words make all the difference. 

Amy F.

True Freedom

Brother John, 

I love what you said tonight about liberty — complete liberty.  God’s children have a liberty from many of the things that burden men, including earthly laws that are made to bind a man’s flesh (for his sake and for the sake of others).  We are free, not because we have the liberty to do evil or to be lawless, but because God’s children don’t need to be bound to be good.  God’s children don’t need restraint against their nature.  The saints’ nature isn’t contrary to law; it is the law.  Only the spirit of God in a child of God is ever holy.

We are that free.  God has made us so.

But you asked tonight, “Are we free enough to live under the burdens that we are free from?  Are we that free?”

Are we free to wear shackles that Jesus broke off of us, if it furthers the gospel?

Are we free to hurt when we can have relief, if it is good for others?

Are we free to suffer wrong to keep godly peace?

Are we free to be less successful than we might be?  Are we free to do without?  Are we free to fail?

“Free from what, or whom?” Someone might ask.  The answer: free from ourselves of course, is the answer.  Am I free enough from me to do all these things?  If I’m not free from me, I’m not free at all; I’m my biggest captor.

It is like you said so many years ago on your radio program.  You challenged the toughest man listening, “Just try to stop sinning if you can. Try to stop being self-willed.  If it is your choice, then stop today; just try it.”  It was a plea for people to realize they are not free. They are bound to the will of their flesh, and they need help from the only One who can make them free. 

Jesus has made us free.  I believe we are free enough in our hearts and conscience to walk away from anything in this world we perceive not to be Jesus (so far) — regardless of how good it looks.  I believe Jesus broke those kinds of chains off of us, and you have been coaxing us to believe it for at least 20 years.  At least.  I believe we are free enough to run away from what looks good with no fear at all.  But the question you asked, is, “Are we free enough to stay – if it is pleasing to God?”

Another way of saying that might be, “Do you have enough humility to stay?  Are you humble enough to stay in chains when you don’t have to wear them, if it could do someone else some good?  Do we have the humility to be in bondage for other’s sake?”  I think is what you were asking tonight.  I think you helped us with the answer when you said attitudes toward some current events have indicated the answer is no, at times, and that those attitudes are dangerous to our souls.

A couple of years ago, you told us that you had no fear for a man to come in and preach to us if he had a message he wanted to share.  You had no fear of us being confused or swept away by a man’s ignorance or wrong ideas.  You said it wasn’t his effect on us that concerned you, but how we might treat him.  That is what worried you.  I’ve never heard you repeat that since that evening, but I feel you were saying that in all of the goodness and liberty Jesus has extended, we could hurt someone with what we have if we lead with the pointed end of our blessing.

I was in the shower the other day and I feel like Jesus was reinforcing something that I think He’s been saying to me for some time now.  The same things keep coming back around.  I felt like He told me, “The truth is not a sword, it is your shield.  It is to protect you from what others might do to you; it is not for you to attack the defenseless.”  I am reminded of that experience when considering all you said tonight about attitude. 

There sure are a lot of people out there with some strange behaviors and ideas about God before they end up getting the holy Ghost.  Who knows how God communicates to them until they really know something.  I guess, in whatever way they understand.  Things like that make me consider what you told us about your father.  You said that God told him, “Don’t ever speak ill of someone who speaks well of my Son.”  This last month, I’ve been wondering before the Lord how many people with sincere experiences I might have winced at and, perhaps unintentionally, discouraged over the years, just because they didn’t have the blessings I have been given.  It has made me want to slow down and wait to hear from Jesus about anything that has to do with the Father or the Son.  He can surely tell me what is Him – He’s done it before.

Thank you for tonight and that excellent question – “Are we free enough to stay bound?”

I was thinking about how bound Jesus was for us.  He was bound by hunger, sleeplessness, loneliness, and the list goes on.  Jesus stayed bound inside the flesh of a dying body, to save us, and he bore that death to its dying breath, refusing every moment’s impulse to be set free, knowing God had promised Him countless angels to do it.  He wouldn’t have had to turn down that offer just once; He would have had to turn it down with every labored breath he took, until there just weren’t anymore.  Jesus had to be free even from living in order to do that.

Thank you again for tonight.

Jerry

Thank you so much for replying.

I also appreciate you explaining religion is not the goal which I agree with.

When I asked if only true believers will speak in tongues, I was trying to imply that as we both probably agree on, only those who have been born again can speak in tongues. Other religions (like early Mormons or Hindus) can claim what they want but that is only reserved for those who have been born again (are Christ-followers).  

But just to be sure I am understanding you correctly: are you saying the speaking in tongues is evidence that a person has been born again? In other words, if someone claims to be regenerate but they have never spoken in tongues, does that mean they are not regenerate? 

Thank you for your time. 

Dominic

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I hope this makes what I am saying clear:

“But just to be sure I am understanding you correctly: are you saying the speaking in tongues is evidence that a person has been born again?”  YES.  “In other words, if someone claims to be regenerate but they have never spoken in tongues, does that mean they are not regenerate?”  YES.  What men claim means nothing.

If I have again not made myself clear, please keep trying.  I’m sure I can do it if given enough chances!

God bless.

Pastor John

Good evening Pastor John.  

I hope all is well. I was reading through some of your book “Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism” and was trying to understand the conclusion of the book. Is it that true believers in Jesus will speak in tongues or that only true believers in Jesus will speak in tongues?  

As you can see, one word made the difference in that question. So, what I’m basically asking is that those who are actually Christians will speak in tongues? Or that in order for you to actually be a Christian, you must speak in tongues? 

Thanks so much and God bless.  

Dominic.

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Thank you, Dominic, for writing. I am glad that you took the time to read my book, and I am happy to answer your questions.

“Only” is the correct answer.  I am sorry if I did not make that plain enough in the book. 

Dominic, only God knows the heart, as the Bible says, and everything I see in the Bible indicates that only God knows when a heart has truly repented.  And He has not left His precious children to guess who has repented and been washed by the Spirit and who has not.  He has given what Paul called the “sign for unbelievers”, to wit, speaking in tongues, or “stammering lips”.

That the baptism of the holy Ghost is the new birth is not even an issue among reasonable students of the Bible. And I am fully persuaded, as I tried to explain in my book, that the Spirit’s sound is heard every time it happens, just as Jesus told Nicodemus.

Finally, it is important to note that being a “Christian” has nothing to do with anything in the kingdom of God.  To be what is now called a Christian means nothing to God. Only what is of the Spirit, which Jesus purchased for us with his blood, counts with God.  Church religion is of the devil, not Christ, and it is a great blessing to know that, so that we might obey the heavenly voice crying out to all who belong to God, “Come out of her, my people!”

Coming out of that religion is the only way God’s children will ever be made one as the Father and Son are one. The religious system called Christianity is the very thing that divides God’s children. We must escape its clutches if we are ever to be truly free.  I invite you to join us on the journey.

Thank you again for writing.  I hope you will stay in touch.  It matters to Jesus, and to me, what you think and how you feel about these important matters.

God bless you as you continue to pursue the knowledge of God.

Your servant in Christ Jesus the Lord,

Pastor John

God Is Right!

I’ve been reading in Joshua this morning.  I do not remember knowing that Joshua fought for the Lord, clearing the land of enemies, until he was old, long after crossing into Canaan.  And I’m not sure if it’s the smoke of that burnt-up old upbringing in Christianity or just the flesh that made me say “Really? even after they crossed over…until he was old?” 

I had similar thoughts reading and thinking about all the killing in the book of Joshua.  It feels very good to know to say, “God, you’re right.  I want your heart,” and repent of my own thoughts, and go on.  There really is great comfort in just having that on the inside: “God is right.”

I talked to a dear relative yesterday.  It was pleasant enough a conversation, but reading this in Joshua reminded me of how there is still a separating darkness between God’s children and the world, still that dividing veil: “And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them” (Josh. 24:7a).

Beth D.

Good morning John.

I hope you are feeling OK today, and your throat made it through all that  you gave us last night. I think that Lee Ann has a writing gift.* She always says the best things, that I wished I could say. That is her part and gift, but I do have to say that she seems to always say much of what I feel, especially about valuing you.

This morning after you sent the link on Jack Coe, I spent some of today watching some old videos of him, and some AA Allen, and Benny Hinn, etc., also some more modern people who preach healing and such. These healing videos stir something good.  I appreciate men who have power and believe God.  But when it’s over, I always seem to have a yearning for more “something” – something that will go with it. Something that will feed, and stir growth and spiritual life beyond the healing part.  I guess it’s a longing for “meat” that should follow.  They have their wonderful part, but there is another part.

So after I watched these evangelists, I went back and listened to your message from last night.  And I have to agree with your father when he said that being with a few in the truth was better than all his healing campaigns.  “This” was better than “that”.   The end of your message about the bread and the blood, and the holy Ghost and Jesus, and Him being life, etc. etc., it was all there. It’s the missing part!  It’s not the “full” gospel without that part. I’m so thankful we get to feel and hear it.

Anyway, I agree with Lee Ann… when watching your message again I prayed to God that the value of you is fully known and appreciated in my heart.  At one point in your message you said something about not living long enough to see those things…. I had a bit of a hurt hit me… “no, you can’t go!”.  I guess one day that will be the case, but I don’t want to think about those things. I want to eat off of you for a good while to come!  I hope that’s the case.

Thank you for giving your body to this body. 

Gary

*See post titled “Thank You” 9/19/2021.

Question regarding 1Cor. 5:21

Good morning, 

I was reading the “Random Thought” for 9-19, and wanted to see if you would something clear for me.  You wrote, “The kind of righteousness that Jesus brought to light and made available to those who trust in him was unknown to mankind before he paid the price for us not only to have it in us, but to become the righteousness of God in this world.  One of the most astonishing verses in all the Bible has to be that which Paul wrote to the saints in ancient Corinth (2Cor. 5:21): “Him who knew no sin, God made sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

“Him who knew no sin [Jesus] God made sin for us…”

God made Jesus sin?  What does that mean, and when did it happen?  When He put him in a fleshly body?  When He had Jesus hung on a tree to die as a sinner would?  Or when God made sin? 

“…so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Beth D 

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Hi Beth.

In the Old Testament, sins were transferred to the sacrificial animal by the laying on of hands just before the animal was slain (e.g., Lev. 4:15).  And since the Old Testament was the pattern that Jesus fulfilled, we may safely assume that God put the sins of the world upon Jesus when Jesus was about to die.  It is in only that sense that Jesus “became sin for us”.

In the same way, we “become the righteousness of God” when the holy Ghost fills us, bringing into our hearts God’s righteousness, and peace, and joy (cf. Rom. 14:17).

Don’t let Paul’s language confuse you.  He is just talking about Jesus taking on the sins of the world and about us taking on the righteousness of God.  That’s all.

Thank you for the very good question.

Pastor John

 

 

 

Thank You!

Good morning, John,

Thank you for last night.  I can’t imagine how much strength it takes to prepare and present what Jesus has for us (especially when you haven’t felt well).  You have done it so well, and for so many years now, and I am saying from the bottom of my heart, “Thank you”.  And thank you, Jesus, for giving us your best. 

I was so overwhelmed with feeling the love of God last night.  I wanted to speak, and I couldn’t open my mouth.  All I could do was feel it, and let it overwhelm me.  

I felt so thankful for good, pure food, and for having a heart that loved it and wanted to eat it!  The more I ate, the stronger I felt it.  The first song you sang, “I Want To Love Him More”,  perfectly expressed my feelings because it is so true!  

Then, when you sang “I Remember Dark Calvary”, I was thinking as you were singing the words that I possessed the very thing Jesus suffered and died for stirred up inside me, moving me!  Jesus’ very life inside me!  And I thought, “This is how you remember Calvary.  It is not a thinking thing.  It is stirring up the gift of God.  It is letting His life that he suffered and died to give us be alive and move us”!  And then you told us that very thing after you finished singing.

At the end when we were sitting around and it was quiet, I thought, “Have I valued what just happened here?  Have I valued what you’ve done, Jesus?  Did I take it in as fully as I could?”

These are precious times when we can be together.  We are not promised another meeting.  I know it takes so much from you physically when we get together, and you will not always be able to do that (can hardly even stand to type those words).

I felt the gravity of that last night when we were sitting there at the end.  And I was hoping I valued you enough.  That I valued fellowship enough.  That I valued feeling the Spirit enough.  That I valued what Jesus was offering us enough.  

Love,

Lee Ann

Let Obedience Be Our Prayer

Pastor John,

I was in the shower, praying, brother John.  Out of my mouth came, “Let obedience be our prayer.”  I felt the Spirit say “YES!”

So good – and right!

Jerry

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Thanks, Jerry.

That reminds me of the time my father started praising the Lord after Oral Roberts prayed for him, and the doctor could not find the cancer that he had earlier told him was there.  The Lord told him, “Shut up!  I want your praise to be in your behavior from now on.”

God is serious about praising Him with our lives.  That way, the praise of our lips will be acceptable to Him.

Pastor John