Feeds:
Posts
Comments

I heard this from the Spirit this evening, Pastor John.

“When you know that Jesus has the words of life, you rejoice at correction!”

Jerry

Advertisements

Halos and Crowns

Pastor John,

Images of Sol Invictus, the ancient Roman sun-god, appear with a shining halo. Do the halos of ancient mythological gods predate the crowns worn by earthly kings? Did kings at some point adopt the wearing of a golden crown, to imitate those halos?

Thank you!

Jerry

=========

Hi Jerry.

The answer is hidden in the recesses of ancient history. As far back in recorded history as we can go, rulers have distinguished themselves with clothing different from the rest of us, and their invented gods would naturally have followed suit. However, I suspect that behind it all lies an ancient knowledge of the truth, that God really is glorious and different from everyone else in heaven and earth.

Hope that helps.

Pastor John

Thankful for Truth

Good morning Pastor John.

I read in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 this morning, and it touched me:

3. For our exhortation was not based on error, nor uncleanness, nor yet was it deceitful;
4.on the contrary, as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who tries our hearts.
5. Neither at any time were we found with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed — God is witness.

Then I played a testimony of a young woman who got mixed up in Islam searching for God, but she had come out of holiness. In her testimony she said ” it seemed to me, they always wanted to use only certain scriptures to support their doctrine.”

The thankfulness for what we have hit me. I know I can open that Bible and ask you about any scripture. I know I can feel something or have a question, and I can come to you. I know you will be honest – honest with me, and with God. What is that worth!

I don’t know if they did pick scriptures or if she just had a rebellious spirit, but I know that hearing her made the thankfulness for the pure truth, hit my heart this morning. Jesus told me you have eyes like Paul. Eyes that stay on him. What is that worth for ALL of us!

I am thankful Jesus gave you to us! We need you.

Beth

God Loved Me First

Dear Pastor John,

I keep hearing your comment to me during our Sunday afternoon visit, which was something like, “I love watching how much you love the Lord.” And what I feel is that I love Him because I see how much he loved me first.

I see His hand in my life, pulling me through and out of potentially dangerous and life threatening situations. I see His hand reaching out to me when I felt lost, alone and afraid. I see His hand in gifting me to Brad and into this family of saints.

He loved me first and it’s my greatest and most cherished honor and obligation to love him back. I’m grateful for the freedom and direction His love has given me!

Blessings,

Allison

Pastor John,

I enjoyed this evening’s meeting very much. I want to share what I learned and understood, from the things you were teaching us.

(1) No one chooses the truth of God – everyone chooses the desire of their heart….everyone. It is up to God whether that desire is godly, or not; in ourselves, we are powerless to desire the things of God – and powerless NOT to desire the lusts of our own heart.

Men are traveling in every conceivable spiritual direction, following their heart and claiming it to be the right way. It is up to Jesus to decide who desires what is truly holy in God’s sight.

It is just as your father said many years ago, pastor John: “Everything you believe could be a lie….for all you know!” Preacher Clark was telling us: Everyman is right in his own eyes. We are at the mercy of God as to whether our “right” leads us to God’s righteousness.

We are powerless to desire holiness, for that is the heart of God. Who can know or conceive of such a thing so high above man, without the Creator of man leading? But we do have a part to play as we depend on God’s mercy. Our part is to walk humbly before the Lord, to hate evil, and turn from every sin, to love the household of faith, to prefer the unity of the body of Christ above our own selves, and to treat every man on earth like he may one day be converted by the Lord and be our brother in Christ. He just may be – one day – no matter his condition today.

(2) Keep our garden free from weeds. In other words – keep the spiritual no-harms (those things that do not minister to the Lord, nor edify the body of Christ) out of our life while they are still in their infancy, and before they grow up and become hard to dismantle. It is easy to manage a weed when it first sprouts, easy to see in an otherwise clean garden, and easy to pull up because there is no root to fight against. Don’t let a weed grow a root in your holy garden, and it will pull up as fast as you can pinch it between your fingers.

(3) Jesus described Four Kinds of Soil in Mathew 13, one in which the foolish hear the Word of God, but because they have no depth of soul for the Word of God to grow in, once that seed springs up, it cannot grow roots, and when the heat of sun comes up, it is scorched and withers and dies.

The opposite is true for the wise in Christ; their soul provides no depth for weeds to grow in, so that when the seed of a fruitless weed sprouts, it cannot take root. Therefore, when the heat of the Son comes up, that weed is scorched and withers away 🙂 We had some scorching of weeds in last Sunday’s meeting! A lot of good heat from the Son!

(4) The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts…..(Prov. 20:27 KJV). In other words, the Lord tries our spirits with the spirits of the people around us. If a person brings out your worst, the Lord has shined His candle on your worst and is inviting you to seek Him to be rid of it.

The foolish learn to avoid those circumstances which reveal their hidden “worst,” while the wise seek out the Lord’s candle to reveal it, to get free of it before the coming judgment of the Lord.

Amen, amen and amen!

Loved tonight’s meeting, pastor John! Thank you!

Jerry

I read your gospel tract, “What Is Salvation?” Very good teaching. So hard in this day to convince people to live holy.

David H.

=========

Hi, David.

The “get saved” madness that took root in the early 20th century has now swept multitudes of believers off their feet and carried them away. It is one of the strongest “winds of doctrine” ever to have blown through the vineyard of God. In 1925, my father was a student at the Ayden Seminary in Ayden, NC. One day a visiting speaker from California addressed the students there and made a strange claim. The following is an excerpt from a biography I wrote about my father,

George Clarence Clark, Sr.:

To Ayden, Then To God

In the fall of 1925, twenty-three-year-old George Clarence Clark entered the Free Will Baptist Seminary in Ayden, North Carolina. Having only a surface knowledge of religion, he had assumed that the professors of the Bible would agree concerning the Bible’s teachings. He had not been in Ayden Seminary long before he learned that there were deep disagreements among the professors concerning key Biblical doctrines, including the foundational doctrine of salvation. One camp taught that those who believe in Jesus will be saved in the end regardless of their deeds in this life, while another group taught that obedience to the will of God is the way to salvation and that without obedience, no one will be saved, including born-again people. He was confused. Who was right?

The early twentieth century was a pivotal time in history for the saints in America. The non-Biblical concept of “getting saved”, now commonly taught and accepted among believers, was just beginning to take root. Clarence had grown up as a Free Will Baptist, and he had never heard the phrase, “getting saved”. Among the vast majority of Christians of the time, conversion was called conversion, or “born again”, but never “getting saved”. The first time Clarence ever heard of someone “getting saved” was during a lecture at the Seminary by a visiting speaker from California. When the speaker claimed that he had “gotten saved”, Clarence turned to his fellow seminarian and good friend, a young man from Florida named I. J. Blackwelder, and asked, “Blackwelder, what’s he talking about when he says that he ‘got saved’?”

Blackwelder replied, “I don’t know, but I think he means ‘converted’.”

Clarence and Blackwelder decided they should do their own study of the Scriptures and see about this new phrase, “getting saved”. They went to the seminary library, did their research, and concluded that the guest speaker was in error. There was no such phrase in the Bible. “Conversion”, they learned, is not a synonym for “salvation”. Conversion is, as they had always heard, an experience to be had now in this life, and salvation is the promised reward to be given to the converted (if they are faithful to Jesus) when the Lord returns. They shrugged off the lecturer’s strange doctrine of “getting saved” and returned to their seminary studies. Neither of them expected that the new doctrine of sinners “getting saved” when they repent would become standard doctrine among evangelicals in their lifetime. At the beginning of the twentieth century; it was not the normal confession of believers. By the end of the twentieth century, “getting saved” had become the very heart of the gospel for many millions of Christians around the world.

I tell the folk here that the “get saved” madness has become so big that the best we can do is simply to live a holy life in the fear of God, as Jesus said for us to do, as examples for whoever is searching for what is truly right.

Thank you for writing, and may God bless you and those there with you. Please stay in touch, as you feel led to do so.

Your servant in Christ,

John

PS You can find most of the things I have written at www.GoingtoJesus.com

Lift Him Up!

Hey John,

Home safe and sound. Sounder actually! Praise God!!

I wanted to tell you what your words did for me. At the airport you said the meetings were about praising him. Lifting Him up and praising Him. Just that! It set my thinking straight about meetings. I love them, but they had become a time where I went to get fed primarily, to stay in touch with family, to enjoy the music. When I stepped out of that selfish thinking really, and just made it about Him, it felt different! The message for some time now was “It’s not about you!”, and this weekend “Check your problems at the door!” I love that! When I was encumbered with the “weight of the world” I wasn’t able to put Him first and just praise Him. What an experience to be there just for Him! He let me praise Him and I’m so grateful. Grateful for right thinking.

I love to be around God’s people. To see how we are supposed to praise Him, to learn how to love each other and to observe how to live right. God blessed me by putting me in this family!

Thanks for all you do John!

Patty

=============

Wonderful testimony, Patty! It was good to see so many people, including you, be so blessed this past weekend! Praise ye the Lord!

Pastor John