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Archive for December, 2008

Hey John,

I want to write to you about my experience in proof-reading the first ten chapters of the book you’re finishing up, God Had a Son Before Mary Did. Actually, the experience began after reading only the first four or five pages. I read those first few pages and had to put the book down so I could take in what I was reading. I thought about the greatness of God as the Creator of the universe. The Father created his Son and then allowed his Son to create everything else. I thought about the slide show that Elijah put together back in the summer showing those amazing pictures of the universe. I thought, “Wow! What a great God!” Then, I thought about who Jesus is and what I know about his character. His humility, his compassion, his generosity just to name a few things.

Then, an overwhelming realization hit me. The Spirit that is in this great Creator with all of his wonderful qualities is the same Spirit that is inside of me! I am sharing the same spirit with the Father and his Son! It was almost more than I could take in. I kept thinking about the wonderful qualities that make up my heavenly Father, and then to think about having his Spirit was so very sweet to me. I found myself lying there in the dark with a tear running down my cheek feeling completely overtaken by the love of God. I thought, “Oh Lord, everyone needs to feel this!”

A few days later, when I picked the book up to finish reading, it was as if you had put into words the feelings I was having. I would read a few pages and then put the book down so that I could soak it in. Reading the book and the feelings it stirred up in me gave me a greater appreciation for the precious life that God has so freely given me.

Finally, I thought I would just sit down and list some of the Character Qualities of my Father: These are just some of the qualities that cause me to want to be like my Father.

1. Humble
2. selfless
3. holy
4. compassionate
5. very generous
6. honest
7. straightforward
8. caring
9. righteous
10. loyal
11. wise
12. just
13. trustworthy
14. unchanging
15. obedient (Jesus always obeyed his Father, as well as the Law)
16, unpretentious
17. merciful
18. tender-hearted
19. happy
20. delightful
21. forgiving
22. whole-hearted
23. hard working
24. laid back (he knows when to stop working and consider the lilies and he never pushes to have his way)
25. full of life (he IS life!)
26. strong
27. reasonable
28. kind
29. good sense of humor
30. dependable
31. protective
32. discerning
33. unmoved by circumstances
34. faithful
35. perfect judgment
36. condemns evil
37. gentle
38. bold
39. single-minded
40. patient
41. considerate
42. long suffering
43. grateful
44. unafraid (with the exception of fearing his Father)
45. loves people
46. counselor
47. friend
48. teacher
49. terrifying
50. austere

When I look at this list, I wonder why I would want to hang on to anything in my old nature. I understand what Paul meant when he said in our flesh dwells no good thing. In Jesus is everything I want to be!

Lee Ann

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That’s a wonderful testimony, LeeAnn, and so true!
I wonder if anyone could think of a quality of our heavenly Father that you did not mention?

jdc

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Cris – Last Night

Pastor John,

We have a cd in the car of older songs that you all sang one night when Sister Grandmama came over one time. It’s been in our car for a long time, and we’ve listened to it many times. Last night on the way home from visiting Greg for Christmas, the words to this song were so clear and they went down in me so deeply. I don’t think I’d ever really heard the words before. Aunt Betty was singing it.

The hand of the Lord, has the strength to move mountains, forge rivers and valleys, and make oceans run dry. But the very same Lord, holds the sparrow that’s fallen. What a blessing to know, that wherever I go, His hand’s holding mine.”

I was sitting there riding in the dark, with tears all down my face. Haskell was driving and he didn’t know I was crying. He unexpectedly reached over and took my hand and said, “I think you’re sweet.” I kissed his hand and cried and cried. It was very touching to me. I’m thankful for that and I wanted to share it with you.

Love,

Cris

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What a great testimony! Music is a mysterious gift from heaven that does things we cannot anticipate. Sounds as if the music was making Brother Haskell feel something, too, and shared it with you. How sweet, and yes, holy! Words cannot express how thankful I am for the gifted musicians Jesus had sent to bless us, and all his people everywhere!

Pastor John

 

 

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Loving God

Bro. John:

I had the most tender dream last night.  I woke up just weeping for the love of God that has been given to us, and for the ones who have yet to find it.

In the dream, some visitors had come into our gathering.  There were three of them.  All that one of them (a man) wanted to talk about was the devil.  He went on and on how the devil did this and the devil did that.  It was not in any malicious way, but just how he was.  When you heard about it, you said, “I can’t have that here.  I just can’t have it.”  Some of us went over to this man, and one of our sisters tenderly hugged him and said to him, “All you have to do is love God.”  When she said that to him, he just started weeping like a broken little child, and saying, “I don’t know how to do that.”

When I woke up, I thought, we don’t know how blessed we are just to be able to love God.  It is not in our flesh to do it.  Loving God is a gift from Him.  For the man in the dream, it seemed as hard to love God as it was easy for him to talk about the devil.  It had become a natural thing for him.  God has to change our hearts, Bro. John.  I don’t know if we really realize how much we need God to change the habits of this flesh.  It had become a habit for that man to talk about the devil.  He didn’t even know that loving God would take that away.

Sandy

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Amen, Sandy!  God help us to spread the experience of the love of God to others – to everyone!  His love casts out the fear of the devil.  More importantly, it takes our attention off that loser and turns it to the only One who is worthy of devotion: our mighty and wonderful God!

jdc

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Zechariah 14:2, 5:11, Part Two

Pastor John:

I was wondering after reading this email, will there be God’s own children involved with

the nations of this world to hurt the Jews?  I also wondered will this beast fool people with the Holy Ghost?

Tony

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Hi Tony:

The only way for any of God’s children to escape being taken in by “the Beast” and his “false prophet” (Rev. 13) is to walk before God with a pure heart.  Jesus said, “If it were possible, the very elect will be deceived.”

It troubles me to see how many of God’s people are deceived now by the spirit of antichrist.  That is only a precursor to the deception yet to come, the deception that Paul labeled “a strong delusion”, which will lead to the “great falling away” from Christ that Paul predicted.

May God have mercy on us, and save us from the darkness that is coming.  Don’t play around with sin, Tony.  It is deadly.

Pastor John

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Zechariah 14:2, 5:11

John:

Is there any reason to believe the term all nations in Zechariah 14:2 would exclude any nation? Somehow, I had always missed it said all nations.

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The whole world will turn against the Jewish nation before the return of the Lord Jesus to reign on earth a thousand years. The man called “the beast” will lead the armies of the nations against Israel, and except for the intervention of Jesus, he will succeed in annihilating them. In those verses from Zechariah, “all the nations” means all the nations of this world.

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Also is my memory correct Zechariah 5:11 refers to Babylon (Christianity)?

Wendell

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Yes, the woman sitting in the midst of that ephah is the “great whore” that sits on the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation 17-18, which is the vain religious system called Christianity.

jdc

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Psalm 11

Hi Bro. John,

I  read in Psalm 11:5, “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

The way that is written sounds like the LORD tries whom He loves. That is comforting.

Jerry

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Hi, Brother Jerry.

The Lord chastens and tries only those whom He loves, Brother Jerry.  As I old everyone here on Sunday morning, the only people who qualify to be delivered are those who are in trouble.  Isn’t that what Jesus said, that are the only people he came for are people in trouble because “the healthy need no physician”?

The gospel is only for the weak, the needy, the sick, the downtrodden, the betrayed, the sorrowful, the abused.  And there is no trouble suffered by anyone except the trouble that God wants to show His love by fixing.

 jdc

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Tonight was wonderful!  I was feeling the words in that song “Let me Follow Jesus” in the depths of my soul.  I realized as you were talking afterwards about nobody understanding who Jesus was in the Old Testament, that I could not feel what I was feeling about following Jesus and walking close to him without the holy Ghost inside feeling that for me.

Lee Ann

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Amen, LeeAnn.  We are so blessed to experience God’s thoughts and feelings about His Son!  That is really what’s going on with us, you know?  That’s really what the gospel is all about.  This is what no OT figure could feel or think, and it is what “the angels desire to look into.”

jdc

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