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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.

=========

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

Good Morning, John.

I thought these lines on page 53 of the proposed IK book were great:  “Roman religion was concerned with success, not sin…. Jupiter is the best and greatest (god), not because he makes us just or sober or wise, but healthy and rich, and prosperous.”

I believe in a nutshell, that is Christianity.  People generally use “God” for themselves. “Jesus, make me healthy, and prosperous.”  I pray that we don’t have our minds primarily on those things, John. The title of that section is very appropriately titled: “entirely worldly”.
Whew….very sobering thoughts.  I love this book so far! praying hands

Gary

Subdued

Reading tonight, I loved this:
“When we are subdued we stop complaining about our lot in this world and peacefully go on our way to eternal life.”

And one more:
You wrote,  “I had always thought we were living right so that we could be ready to meet Jesus in peace: I had never realized the  blessing which our holy living was to our pastor.  And I will always be grateful to God for the great grace of being among those who have lived so that we helped the old, battle-scarred preacher bear his burden in his last days of labor for the Lord.”

That’s my prayer, that I can live a holy life not only to meet Jesus one day but for you Pastor John.  You both have saved my life! red heart

Michelle

Hey there!

Today Vince posted Richard’s testimony “God Brought Me Back”. It is such a wonderful testimony. I just love hearing it and I am so thankful for the mercy Jesus has given us.  Richard’s testimony goes along with a dream I had before we left on our trip last week. The morning I had the dream was the same morning you sent your email reminding the young people on proper summer dress.  I had actually typed up the dream while on our trip, but it oddly disappeared off my phone and I couldn’t retrieve it. I have typed out my dream again and at the end I have added what Richard said in his testimony that he gave in 2018 that Vince posted.

In the dream we were all sitting at tables (reminded me of when we did the Revelation study). Gary had a new song. It was about someone’s life that had been through a lot of hurt and pain as a result of life choices. As folks started to realize the song was about Richard from his time in California some whispered to the person next to them commenting to their neighbor.  I think it was Diane that leaned over to me and asked, “Is this song about Richard?”

Just then, Richard motioned to Gary and asked if he would pause the song so he could tell about the experience in the song.

Richard stood up on a table as if he wanted everyone to hear what he was about to say because it was important. My thought as I looked at him, he was now wearing only a t-shirt and shorts, was how raw and sincere his heart was telling about the hurt during that time in his life.

Then he stepped down off the table, still telling of his hurtful experience and specifically started addressing the young people in our crowd that are not living a godly life. He walked over to one of our young ladies dressed like a Las Vegas show girl. He now had what looked like a boat oar in his hand. He tapped the green feather headdress she was wearing and it fell off her head. He proceeded to tap the long feathered skirt she was wearing and it fell off. As he was knocking off the costume from the young lady he was pleading with her and the other young folks. I don’t remember the exact words he said, but the feeling was as if he were saying, “You don’t need this; this is not who you are. Please don’t go down the road you are heading!  It will not end up good.”

Standing beside the young lady was her mother. When I looked at her it had the feeling like she was surprised at what Richard was saying about her daughter, and she was not happy about it. Then I woke up.

In Richard’s testimony that Vince posted, he told about his time in California and how at first when he started down that path he really didn’t know where it would lead, but after a while he found himself in a place so far away from God wondering, “How did I get here?”

Listening to him tell this part of his testimony, addressing the young people in the room, brought back the feelings from the dream so I wanted to type this part out:

“As someone that has gone down a bad path, God can bring you back, but it is much better to stay on the path in the first place.  All those curses of God are not just a story in the Bible that happened long ago. That is real life. He will do that to you, He can bring you back but it’s not without some pain, it’s not without suffering, and it’s not without some sorrows of the heart. Choose the path of God in the first place.”

Amy F.

A True Pastor

John,

There seems to be a lot happening lately, especially today with a bad accident and reports of illness.  That said, I would like to tell about something good that Jesus did for me today.

I have been going through the Thought for Today book, particularly in the morning before the day gets going. Today, I read, On the Death of a True Pastor (April 20)* and On the Nature of a True Pastor, (April 21).**  I enjoyed reading again the events that took place surrounding your father’s death.  The last two sentences in the April 20 message reads, “If a man is a pastor sent by God, he cannot retire, any more than Israel’s High Priest could retire.  A pastor is a gift from God, not to be refused if one would grow in the grace and knowledge of God.”

After reading those two sentences, I asked myself if I really believe that my pastor is a gift from God, or has the many years of knowing you caused me to take for granted what God has done. 

The April 21 message, On the Nature of a True Pastor talks about Christianity’s method of hiring and firing pastors.  You tell the story of how in the 1950’s, the local cotton mill in your hometown of Henderson, NC, shut down.  “Some Christian pastors left town because contributions were few.”  You wrote that these ministers left “because they were hired, and the pay was not good enough. Being a pastor is what they DID; it was not who they WERE.”

There are many other nuggets mentioned in both these messages.  One nugget that really stood out is, “George Clark was not elected to his post. He was appointed to it by God.  And the Lord sent him sheep for whom he was responsible to God until death.” “The transfer of authority over the flock” was passed on to you.”

When I finished reading, I closed the book, sat back, closed my eyes and started to pray.  I could not help but thank Jesus for giving me (us) a true pastor.  However, I wanted to be honest with myself.  I asked Jesus to show me how I really feel about my pastor.  Do I really love him, and the gift that he is?

Soon after breakfast, I told Suzi that I was going to deliver the mail I had collected for Richard and Amy while they were on their trip.  Suzi was disappointed that I was leaving so soon because she wanted to go with me.  I told her that I would take a walk first and then we could go together.

I had not gone too far down Preacher Holmes Road before I saw a vehicle coming towards me.  When it got closer to me, I saw that it was you.  You stopped, and we said hello to each other. Although you were only there for a minute, I was very glad to see you, and your smile.

As soon as you drove off, I felt tears come to my eyes because of the love I felt for you.  I knew that Jesus had set that whole thing up.  He wanted me to know how I felt about my pastor, just as I had asked him to do.  If I had delivered the French’s mail earlier, I would have missed seeing you. 

Jesus is so good to us!

Tom

* https://goingtojesus.com/gtj_thoughts.html?tname=tft04-20

** https://goingtojesus.com/gtj_thoughts.html?tname=tft04-21

“Trust Me”

Good Morning, Pastor John.

This was too much to text so I thought I would email to you.

I love how Jesus sends us what we need and gives us a clearer understanding if we listen closely.  The past couple of weeks I keep hearing, “trust me.”  It’s like a wind blowing in my heart, “trust me.”

Sometimes, what seems to be the easiest commandments, I have found myself asking, “OK, but how do I do that?”  Like months ago when Jesus told me to “let go”.  Seems like easy instructions. but I had no idea how.  Then a few days later, he sent my explanation in a “Thought for the Day”*.  I’m finding that even the simplest of tasks or instructions. I need his guidance and understanding  or this carnal mind will mess up or go too far.

Last night, I watched you teach on Hebrews 12**.  In it you were talking about the difference between chastisement and scourging.  You said, “scourging is different from being chastised; scourging is to the bone.”  You taught us the difference between righteous and profane.  You said the righteous honor everything that is of God, no matter the circumstances.  But the profane hold ungodly things as important as godly things (comparing Esau trading his birthright for a bowl of food).

Then you read Hebrews 12:15: “taking care, that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble.”  And you asked, “What is the root of bitterness?  Unbelief is the root of bitterness.”

Sometimes I feel like I could and have opened that door to bitterness.  Not knowing and having so many question marks about my future is tough.  But listening to you last night felt so good to my heart.  It felt like Jesus was saying, “Here’s your answer — to keep that door shut, permanently.”  There is so much love in that!  To say I trust Jesus is just words and easy, but I want my whole heart to trust him, no matter what my circumstances may be.  I love his instructions, and I love that he has me in a place to learn.  We have so much right at our fingertips!  I want to take it all in.

Love you, Pastor John!

Michelle

And…  I love this!

  1. So then, straighten up the listless hands and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet lest that which is lame be turned aside, but let it rather be healed.

This is how I feel every time Jesus comes to my rescue!  It’s like, Okay, you’re through that now; let’s finish running this race together!”

* Going to Jesus.com – Audio Materials

** Going to Jesus.com – The Sabbath Is For Rest

Hi, Pastor John.

Brad and I read a “Thought for the Morning” today titled, “Even If Everyone Goes Away”, Part 2In it, Sister Sue explained what you said in a Saturday night meeting, that you loved God more than you loved your flock.  She said that you told the story of a pastor’s wife who told her children that she loved their father more than she loved them, and that knowledge made her children feel more loved and protected. 

I wholeheartedly feel that love and protection in knowing that my husband loves Jesus more than me and that my pastor does too!  It puts everything in right order and lets me know that the two most important men in my life have their priorities straight, so I can trust, respect and feel protected by them!

red heart

Allison

Aunt Nannie’s Vision 

Pastor John,

I’ve been reading the George C. Clark stories* again.  I love them!  They are filled with faith, instruction and pure love of God.  Many times I’ll read something that I missed or had forgotten.  I read this tonight and it was so good I wanted to share it.

This is Aunt Nannie’s testimony concerning the vision Jesus graciously gave her:

“Many times I have been to bed and prayed that God would reveal Himself to me, that He would give me a dream or vision that I could not wait until the day to tell about, that I would have to wake someone up to tell them.  Wednesday night at our prayer meeting, I went up for prayer and was slain in the Spirit.  It was so wonderful, the love and the warmth that followed me.  Thursday night I dressed for bed and sat down on the side of the bed and picked up, The Broadcaster, a monthly letter from our pastor.  I lay down and my eyes fell on these lines: ‘There are commandments to be kept if those who are in covenant with Christ would be saved from the coming wrath of God.’  Suddenly, my eyes filled with tears and my spirit cried out, ‘Michael! Michael!’  I knew that if Michael had kept the commandments and loved God with all his heart he would not have left and gone where they do not preach the truth.  Then, suddenly, I felt a tap on my forehead.  And a voice said, ‘I don’t need Michael, but he needs me.’

Then, I was not on my bed.  I was out in a field at the edge of a woods.  It was late in the afternoon.  Dusk was falling.  Everything was quiet.  Then I heard a voice that spoke directly in my heart.  It said, ‘Here I am.’  I turned my head slightly to the left and saw Jesus, standing ahead.  He didn’t open his mouth, but his voice, or word, was speaking to a group of people.  The voice said, ‘I don’t need you. You need me.  I can give you peace, comfort, and protection from the wrath of God that’s coming.’  I felt great fear and tried to fall down at his feet.  I knew that I would be safe there, but I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t pick my feet up.  I tried to push myself.  I was so close.  Then I was aware that I was back on my bed, holding The Broadcaster up in the air.”

“What are we to gather from this wonderful vision from the Lord to Sister Nannie?  She received from it three distinct impressions.

First, from her testimony, in her own words, ‘I know that if we receive anything from God, we have to come to him with all our hearts, with nothing between us.’

Secondly, we have to receive before we can give to others.  We can’t even give a birthday present until we purchase and receive it first.  Oh Lord, have mercy on your people.

Aunt Nannie’s third clear impression from her vision was that, ‘We must come to this place [in Christ], or he will replace us with someone who will.’

Jesus doesn’t need me.  I need Jesus.  Jesus doesn’t need man in order to have his gospel preached.  Men need the anointing of Christ to be able to preach his gospel.  Jesus doesn’t need the body of Christ to be the light of the world.  The body of Christ needs grace from God that it might be the light of the world.  Jesus has no need of tithes and offerings.  The body of Christ needs anointed men to receive their tithes and offerings in his name.  Jesus doesn’t need us, our talents, our money, our plans, our buildings, our organizations, our many members.  We need Jesus and his power, his wisdom, his goodness, his correction, and his Spirit.  He is our life!  We are not his life.  Without him, we are hopeless.  Without us, he lives and reigns forevermore.”

Whew, Amen!  This is wonderfully sobering!  I’m just lying here tonight so thankful for these old saints.  Thankful that you’ve passed their testimonies to us.  It feels just as good to my soul today as I’m sure it did Aunt Nannie’s then!~ He is our life!

Michelle

* https://www.pioneertract.com/

Allison’s Sandwich

During the coffee meeting this morning, Allison mentioned her JESUS sandwich: Jesus in the morning and a little more Jesus in the evening and life‘s obligations, work and chores all throughout the day.  It’s like a sandwich. smiley long eyes

As we walked home reflecting on that, I blurted out, “Yeah, there’s so much of our lives wrapped up in the middle of the sandwich, it’s nice that He’s the two pieces of bread on the top and bottom. Well, He IS THE BREAD…of LIFE!” Smiley tongue

Allison’s metaphor is perfect.  And whether Jesus is gluten-free or not is irrelevant.  I’m glad we can eat of that sandwich every day!!  It’s delicious AND nutritious.  Let’s live our lives the way we have to, on this earthly journey, and at least keep Jesus—the bread of life—at the beginning and at the end of each day.  (He’s the Alpha & Omega of our lives.) 

Happily,

Brad

The Fire 

https://www.pioneertract.com/unclejoe/abaptismoffire.html

Whew, this is really good! It left me so thankful for the purity and the sincerity Jesus has given us in you and the body. I was praying for all of us yesterday morning and I had the sweetest feeling pour down in my car as I talked to Jesus about the hearts he has here that love him and his Father. Hearts that really want them. What a holy gift from Jesus to be placed here among those hearts.

Reading this I thought about how you were translating and studying the bible long ago, looking up definitions and searching,  just because you loved it. Look what zeal Jesus put in you. Jesus was burning up everything else and putting that in you. I love that.

Uncle Joe wrote “We must have this baptism of fire within us and it burning or we will be burned with the chaff. Fire will not burn fire. Neither will it burn anything that is purged by fire.”

Beth

YouTube Numbers

Pastor John,

l saw the ^You’re Still God” video on Gary Savelli’s YouTube channel.  Wow!  Over 18,000 views a year on average, over the last 13 years.  It’s an honor to be a part of this work.  Makes me want to pray more than ever to be able to “walk worthy”.

Billy M.