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Archive for February, 2009

Politics

Bro John,

I was riding down the road by myself this morning and I heard this question posed to me “what are your political affiliations?”  It was as if someone real had just asked me the question.

I thought to myself, “How would I answer that?”  Then I began, just as if someone was expecting a response, to answer.  And as I was beginning to get these words out, trying to explain my thoughts in what felt like an awkward way, I was interrupted by an answer that I felt like was from God.  (I think He asked me the question and then answered it for me too.)  I heard this:  “God’s children are not supposed to be involved in politics.  In the beginning, God’s chosen people, Israel, had no affiliation with politics.  God was their government.  Their ruler and their judgment came through God’s anointed Judges, never someone voted in to exercise authority.  It was only when Israel decided that they did not want God as their ruler and decided that they wanted to be involved in the world’s political system that they ever had to consider such things.”

Then the voice continued giving me my answer to that first question, in case I am ever asked it:  “God is still the ruler of His children, and His children still have no business contemplating whom to chose to have authority over them.  That is why I do not vote.”

Bro. John, I know that I have heard this before.  But I just wanted to tell it.

Jerry

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Brother Jerry:

Sounds as if when you were told it, you were listening and that God has now re-inforced what you heard.  Just pray for the men and women who are in positions of authority.  The future looks bleak.  It appears that God has completely taken wisdom from the leaders of this country — this wonderful country that has despised His love and His Son, in spite of the blessings poured out on the American people in the past.

But pray especially for the men to whom God’s people are looking for guidance in these hard times.  The wisdom of the Spirit is the only thing that is going to take us safely through what lies ahead.

Pastor John

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The Blessing of a Clean Life

Bro. John:

I was looking at some of the pictures on our Facebooks this morning.  I just happened to land on Bro. Gary’s little video of him playing on guitar the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and tears began to flow.  It wasn’t the song alone, for there were no words.  But it was the feeling – – how wonderfully clean and innocent it felt and how blessed we are to be surrounded by things and hearts that are clean.

I thought about the day we will live forever with the Father and the Son, never again to have to guard our hearts against anything unclean or unholy.  What is it worth to have a life in the truth where you don’t have to be afraid of what your children may be subjected to, a life where you can live and trust in the simplicity and pureness of the things of God; a life where you can trust the hearts around you?  That is why we must protect this precious life in God by loving His righteous judgments, His order, and His government that keeps us from the poaching spirits that lie in wait to get in.  I read this in Ezekiel 22 this morning:

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.”

How blessed we are to have the order and government of God that places an anointed man over us as His means of protection and defense, the anointed man who declares the boundaries and limits of God that keep us from being destroyed.  God is good!  Our own ways will destroy us if we do not love where God has put us and the order that He has declared.  I noticed in Ezekiel, He didn’t search for a doctrine, He searched for a man.

I thank Him for this clean feeling that I am feeling this morning.  It is precious and to be cherished.

Sandy

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Rob – Relationships

Pastor John,

As of this May, Donna and I will be married 25 years.  I want to say that today and for the past month, my marriage is in the best condition that it has ever been in.  My marriage is wonderful and I want to thank you and Barbara for all of your counsel and prayers.  I know that others have prayed for us also, but through you (my Pastor) our answer came from Jesus.  I am learning how to really care for Donna and she is learning how to care for me. I know Jesus has many ways of fixing things, but for us, we needed you and Barbara.

I told Donna a few nights ago that the relationship (marriage) that we have now, is a relationship that I used to day dream about.  WOW!  It is a miracle and it came through prayer, tears and help from you and Barbara.  I am very glad that I opened up and shared my feelings and thoughts.  Opening up, concerning my marriage helped me get wrong thoughts corrected, and it helped show me where I was having right feelings on some things.  The road we are on now is a road that I love.  I am very thankful that you are my Pastor and marriage counselor.

Thank you,

Rob

PS.  I can truly say that I wish all marriages were on the same road as mine, now!

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They Didn’t Know It Was Evil

Pastor John,

Way back in Greek, Roman etc. times…….times of old, when people worshipped “the gods”, they didn’t know that what they were doing and following was wrong or evil.  They thought it was good.  They didn’t know such power and miracles could possibly be evil.  It looked and seemed good to them.  They didn’t know the source of that power, Lucifer, was ‘evil’.  Lucifer deceived (‘wowed’ them) all on earth, appearing good – just as he did with the angels in heaven that were ‘wowed’ by him, before he and they, were thrown out of heaven.  They (humans)  thought the spirits that were guiding, and doing miracles  for them, were good spirits because they didn’t know that there could possibly be evil spirits doing such things.  They appeared godly!

Am I getting this right?  It seems so much bigger (and more) than what I’m writing down.  I’m feeling something, and it’s not coming out fully or as awesome as I’m feeling.

John the connection between then and now — it’s the same isn’t it?  People, or perhaps I should be saying God’s children, wander after what they see as good, thinking it is from God, but they don’t know that it’s actually evil.

Q:……..have we already been taught this and I’m just now getting it?

It’s wonderful that you’re back home!!!

Love you,
Kay.

PS  I had a wonderful time in the Lord praising His name all the way home this morning.  Sarah kept laughing because I was speaking in tongues and coughing at the same time.  I praised the Lord for a long time at home too, and my ears popped!  I’ve had fluid on them for some time now – praise Jesus!  We were suppose to be doing school.  Whoo hoo!!!  Good lesson for Sarah.  I’m sick, can’t do much, but I sure can make this body, in what ever little way I can, praise the Lord!!!

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Hi Kay:

I can tell that a light has come on for you.  That is a wonderful experience.

Moses said, David too, and Paul, that the “gods” worshiped by people in the ancient world were in fact, demons.  But if you had told that to those ancient peoples, it would not have been news to them, nor would it have dismayed any of them.  Demons were simply seen as lower deities, whose aid was desirable and, so, whose favor was to be sought through whatever rituals they were told would work to that end.  The greater deities were the more well-known gods such as those who were supposed to dwell on Mt. Olympus (Zeus (Jove), Ares (Mars), Athena (Minerva) etc.), whose favor was seen as needful and whose rituals were most emphatically to be observed.  These greater deities were demons, too, just some of the more powerful ones.

That is a quick and broad-stroked description of ancient attitudes and facts, but the critical point, Kay, is that the goodness or evil of those demons was irrelevant.  Some of the gods were unlikeable and known to be evil-hearted, just as some others were likable and known to be kind, but they all were seen as beings that must be pleased in order not to have unnecessary trouble in one’s life.  To insult any of the gods, especially the most powerful ones, by neglecting their sacrifices was seen as foolishly asking for trouble.  >From this, you might be able to tell what an opprerssed life poor people must have lived.  Should they eat and survive?  Or should they sacrifice their food to keep the gods appeased?

Overall, it appears that the common view of life in the ancient world was terribly oppressive, even for the rich in many cases.  One had to constantly be aware of the expectations of individual gods and wonder if you had inadvertently provoked one of them.  For instance, in a hunt, King Agamemnon innocently shot and killed a deer — but that particluar deer, he was told by a priest, just happened to be sacred to the goddess of hunting, and the king was forced by a priest of that goddess to slaughter and sacrifice his own young daughter as compensation for the slain animal.

One also had to wonder if someone among your enemies had offered to a god an especially pleasing sacrifice or built an especially beautiful altar, etc., so that the god’s mind was turned against you?  You can see that there must have been fierce competition for the favor of the most powerful gods.  And so, fear of unpredictable behavior from the gods was the norm in all of life because the gods were seen, basically, as great big people, having the same flaws and weaknesses as humans.   Zeus, for example, was a notorious adulterer, and his wife was very crafty and manipulative.  Moreover, the gods could be won over by flattery and gifts (sacrifices and other forms of worship).

So, the goodness or wickedness of a god in the ancient world was not a major concern of ancient people.  What mattered was power.  The gods had the power; therefore, they were to be feared and honored.  The life of people in the ancient world really was a life to which the saying applies: “Might makes right.”

For those oppressed by such a religious system, the gospel must have been an astonishingly refreshing message:  One God, who is always perfect in all His ways, and always good.  One simple way to worship.  And the knowledge that demons, whether seemingly nice or not, were evil, and their powers, though real, were delusive and unpredictable.  And of course, the revelation of the Son that brought such a new and exciting knowledge of truth about everything!  The glory of the gospel can hardly be expressed.  All that it contained for those ancient people, and for us, cannot be written.

A few centuries after Christ, when the Roman Empire morphed into Christianity, the names of the gods were changed; and some of them became the “patron saints” of Christians, and the oppression began again.  The Middle Ages in Europe was undoubtably the most horrific time for humans to live.  Fear, cruelty, superstition, oppression, diseases, etc.  There has never been a worse time to live, as far as I have been able to tell.

The story of the reviving of the Roman Empire as Christianity is a long and sordid story, Kay, and one that I hope to be able to write about in the future, but that is in the hands of God.  Let’s just rejoice that He has shown us mercy and called us out of Christianity to serve Him in spirit and in truth.  Oh, how God’s people need to learn these things and be set free!  But who can Jesus count on to give up their own ambitions to prepare this food for them?

God, help your people!

jdc

PS  And yes, you have already been told this, and yes, you are just now getting it.  I think that’s wonderful!  Do you want a list of the names of people who have also been told these things, and have never gotten it at all?

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Soil Amendments

Pastor John:

The last time you were here in KY, you were teaching on Jesus’ parable, the “Four Kinds of Soils”.   You were telling us that bad soil can be made productive by adding “soil amendments” to it.  This was amazing!  Afterwards, when you were praying for me, I had a vision of a big dump truck backing up toward me with a load of topsoil!

billy M

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Hi Billy:

God has a lot of dump trucks ready for hungry souls to receive His soil amendments!

jdc

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Hey,

The message on “soil amendments” was so good to me that when I got home, I typed out the list from 2Peter that you said were God’s soil amendments and put them on my computer desk.  Here they are just in case anybody wants them:

Soil Mixture – Add all these things and be fruitful.

2Peter 1:5-8

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Amy

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Stuart – God’s Judgment

Hi Pastor John,

While I was watching the DVDs this week end you made a statement that I have never heard before and it was a new thought for me.  It was about Satan.

You said that “when Satan was cast out of haven that God kept his body.”  He lost that beautiful body that the son of God created for him that he was so proud of.  That is really something.  I never had that thought before.

Stuart

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Yes, that is an amazing thing to contemplate.  I don’t believe any demon has his original body, or any body at all now, unless they possess a body that is not theirs.   And that can be the bodies of humans or of animals, judging by what we find in the Scriptures.  Then, they claim it as their own, according to Jesus, and as you heard on that DVD.  Keep yourself pure and don’t let any other spirit take over your body.  It is a precious gift from God.

jdc

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The Real Target of Slander

Bro. John,

I learned this, this morning, if I didn’t misunderstand it.

I was standing in the kitchen, and I heard “Why does God care if He is slandered?”  Then I looked up and immediately saw this verse on the fridge, on the calander (Ps. 23:3):  “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”  Then I continued to listen.

“Who is God?  What is His name?  He is goodness.  It is His goodness toward men that He doesn’t want slandered, not His power to rule, or authority over men.  He isn’t proud.  He doesn’t seek honor the way men seek honor from other humans.  God poured all His authority out into His Son in the very beginning.  He gave away what men covet most from the start.  It is His goodness that He doesn’t want slandered, so that we may believe on His good name and receive.  Satan doesn’t care if he himself is lied about, because he is not good.  He just wants honor, any way that he can get it.”

Jerry

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It certainly was the case, Jerry, that God’s goodness was Satan’s target in the garden of Eden.  I think you have something here.  Thanks.

jdc

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