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Archive for August, 2009

 

John – Here is a message from you that my mom found today from 2006.

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The Lord showed me tonight that the reason that some of His children refuse to testify openly of what He has done for them is that they know that testifying brings with it a responsibility of holy living that they are unwilling to bear. God is good to all His children, but not all of His children are willing to confess His goodness in an assembly of saints because they are unwilling to live so as to bring God glory.  They may very much enjoy receiving glory from God, but they will give Him none in return, lest the saints begin to notice how they are living day-to-day.

Testifying puts a child of God in the spotlight, if but for a brief moment, but even a brief moment in the light is too much for a heart that is ashamed.  To be observed is not what uncommitted saints want, and so, they shy away from confessing Christ in the assembly of the saints, even if God does a wonderful work in their lives or gives them an especially needed blessing.  As I said, saints may gladly receive God’s special blessings, but then they bury their testimony in silence for fear that if they stand up and be a faithful witness of God’s grace, they will be expected to conduct themselves like one.

What has God done for you that you have hidden from the saints?  Of course, not all blessings are to be spoken of in public; they are of too personal a nature to be broadcast in the assembly of saints or anywhere else.  But the Lord let me know that there are multitudes of unconfessed blessings hidden within the breasts of guilt-ridden believers because they fear that if they confess what God has done for them, they will be expected to walk uprightly.  They are right.  Those who confess Christ automatically become beacons for others who are looking for him.  The choice that confronts these saints, then, is either confess Christ and be seen, or hide their testimony “under a bushel basket” and hope nobody is watching.

Somebody is watching.  So do not be so foolish as to hide your testimony in your breast in hope of not being watched.

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John:

As I read in 1Chronicles this morning, I thought about how much God loved his people.  When the people wanted a king, God said they had rejected Him.  Yet God gave them what they wanted.  Then the king did all the things God warned them he would do, and sometimes even worse.

This question comes to my mind.  If a person rejected me, would I still work to take care of them and help them with the zeal which God did?  I am glad that, even when they reject him, God is willing to touch somebody’s heart for their good.  God put it David’s heart to do His will.  David’s boldness, wisdom, and love for Israel didn’t come from David.

This in itself should encourage us to keep after God, to tune us in to his will.

Br Wendell

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Pastor John

I became curious to know how many christian denominations there are.  We often use the number 1,000 but I wondered.

First problem seems to be to define a denomination. That seems somewhat hard to do.

This link (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary – World Christian Database)  http://www.worldchristiandatabase.org/wcd/about/denominations.asp suggests there are over 9,000 denominations but if you go here http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/a106.htm they get to suggesting there were 33,000 in the world in the Year 2000.

If you go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations you can scroll down the page and be staggered at the lists of denominational names.  There a couple of charts showing the history of division in christianity as well.  Really, it defies description. It is confusion.  Which is how I got to this.

I had looked up the word Babylon wanting to check its meaning.  What I found interested me.

In Hebrew it is from babel apparently meaning confusion, but this word comes from another word balal.

The definitions for this word were interesting.

1) to mix, mingle, confuse, confound

It showed me that Babylon is confusion but it is confusion arising from a mixing or mingling. Mixing believers with unbelievers, life with ceremonies, truth with error and superstition.  That is a perfect description of God’s people in Babylon.  Just one reason why coming out of her is the only way to deal with it.

Damien

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http://www.goingtojesus.com/tongues-at-spirit-baptism.html

 

Pastor John,

I am seeing more and more comments from people saying, “I have had the Holy Ghost baptism for years now, but I would like to order your book because I am seeking the experience of speaking in tongues.”

People have separated the two things!

When someone says they have the ‘holy ghost’ baptism, this does not always mean that they speak in tongues.  It might be clearer to ask them plainly “if they speak in tongues” because people seem to have redefined the Holy Ghost baptism.  John, what do these people believe the Holy Ghost baptism is?

love you,

Kay

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They believe that the baptism is something that happened when they first believed the gospel, and they believe it because that is what Christian ministers tell them happened at that moment.  And if they actually felt the spirit of God when they believed the gospel, they seem to take that as confirmation that the baptism took place.

Yes, some of us do ask our friends who write if they have spoken in tongues to make sure everybody is talking about the same thing.  And you’d be surprised how many people answer that they do speak in tongues.

It is precisely because Christian ministers have separated God’s witness of the Spirit baptism (stammering tongues or speaking in tongues) from the Spirit itself that I needed to write that book Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism.  One of Satan’s chief means of ruining the fellowship of the saints is by re-defining elements of the gospel.  The truth seems wrong to many believers only because so many things of God have been re-defined for them by the religion of Christianity.  We are only trying to help them regain their long-lost love for one another and to know again the sweet fellowship that is in the light of Christ.

Thanks for writing.

We love you, too.

Pastor John

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And then you have all those who said that although Spirit baptism IS evidenced with speaking in tongues, that it is not conversion (sanctification).  Right?

Which is more commonly taught now?  Any idea?

Bekah

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Yeah.  Same doctrine, just different words.  The book deals with that issue from both this angle and the one Kay brought up.

Hard to say which is more prominent in fact.  But according to the standard that Pentecostals have traditionally upheld and published in official documents, yours would be the more common among God’s people.

Of course, the vast majority of Xns would say that speaking in tongues has nothing to do with anything any longer.  That’s why in my answer to you, I did not consider them.

jdc

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Pastor John,

You wrote to Rebekah,

“Of course, the vast majority of Xns would say that speaking in tongues has nothing to do with anything any longer.”

Pastor John, I will never forget that when I told one of my Xn biological sisters about receiving the holy Ghost, she said “Oh, no…that is something that happened way back in the old testament!” Oh my, some hearts cannot believe us and some are very hungry for the truth. I am just trying to be grateful, no matter what. 🙂

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Now Sister Ruth, that is a new one.  I have never heard it taught that speaking in tongues was only part of the Old Testament.  Well, at least she admits it happened to somebody at some point in history.

Let’s just be thankful, and move on.

Pastor John

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Not Important?

http://www.goingtojesus.com/tongues-at-spirit-baptism.html

 

Pastor John

I Speak in Tongues but, many of my christian brothers and sisters Do Not think it is important.

Frances

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That is why, Frances, that God is calling His children out of the religious system called Christianity.  It is a mixed bag of obedience and disobedience, of faith and unbelief, of born-again people and religious sinners.

You are feeling the right thing.  Stick with it.  The Spirit baptism that Jesus suffered and died for is VERY important.  In fact, it is so important that no one will escape damnation without it.

Thank you for writing.  God bless you as you read my book.

Pastor John Clark

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http://www.goingtojesus.com/suffering-and-the-saints.html

 

Pastor John

does people that are saved go through tribulation?

Rita

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Dear Rita:

We are saved only after we have endured to the end, just as Jesus said (Mt:10:22; 24:13).  Salvation is the reward that we are looking forward to receiving from Jesus when he comes back.

I think what you are wanting to know is, will born-again people go through the period of time described in Revelation as the “Great Tribulation”.  The answer is yes.  In fact, there are two times of tribulation described in Revelation that the saints have yet to go through.

The most important thing is to be obey the commandments of God, no matter what he determines that we should suffer.  If you do God’s will, you will be saved in the end whether or not you have gone through a time of tribulation.

Pastor John

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Acts 5

Good Morning Pastor John,

Wanted to share that I was able to get hooked up on the Skype and take part in listening in on the meeting last night.  Was great to hear everyone.  The testimony about the elderly man calling in on the radio, and the brother’s obedience to follow the Spirit’s direction was beautiful.  Very touching!  I kept thinking how that man has lived all his 80 yrs, and how good God is to bring such joy and truth to him during this time of his life.  How blessed he is.  And how good it feels to know that the Lord is blessing him spiritually!   I’m sure it’s a joy for him to have his new chair, but God had much more planned with that delivery.

It is definitely our blessing as well, when we see our bro/sis’s being blessed!

Also, in reading the Thought for the Evening on line this morning, you began with one of my all time favorites (bunches of them I guess) Acts 5:30-32:  “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him”.

I’ve always loved how direct and to the point this one is!  Those Jewish leaders were not a bit confused at what Peter was telling them.  That’s why they were furious and wanted to kill him.  You can just about picture it.  They totally understood that he was implying that they were simply disobedient…or in other words… the ones whom God hath not given to them that disobey him.

Those beginning commands that Jesus said so many times over to obey: just believe and repent.

Every time I read that scripture it has been so clear.  This is one of those scriptures where, by saying one thing, it actually states two facts…God gives the holy Ghost to those who obey, which only leaves that He does not give the holy Ghost to those who disobey.

I’ve pondered many times on how to “lovingly” address this flip flop question, of this scripture, to the many who do not have the Spirit.  You know what I mean?  It’s such a good one!  Reminds me again how Peter stated in Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you,….even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” If He promised you something, and you hadn’t gotten it, wouldn’t you be questioning that???  Goodness, we get hurt and question it when even a man breaks his promise to us!  This is in regards to the many who think it’s just ok, and you don’t have to have the holy Ghost.  But GOD promised it, to those he calls. So again, if a person believes they are called of God, then that scripture states it is their promise from God, and He would’ve given to them.   And he doesn’t break a promise…no matter what a person may personally think.

I feel and hope that these are a few of those scriptures that could really make someone begin questioning some things.

Have you ever had any experiences where you have shared and addressed those scriptures (and hopefully helped inspire their self questioning) with anyone?

Love,

Melissa

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Hi Melissa.

That is a very good point about questioning why the promise is not given, if we have not yet received it.  My father said it this way:  If a parent promises a small child anything, the longer time goes on, the more excited and insistent they become.  That is how we will be if we become “as little children”, the way Jesus aid we must, if we hope to receive the salvation of the Lord.

I have pointed out that Scripture in Acts 5 many times, but I have learned that it does not matter how clearly I can see it, or how well I can explain it to someone.   If God does not have mercy on that person as He has had mercy on me, then that person cannot understand it.

After God reveals truth, it seems so simple!  But it must be revealed to the next person, or the simplicity of the gospel will seem to him very complicated and confused.  That is one thing that should prove to us that the gospel must be revealed and that it is ONLY by the mercy of God that we understand it.  It IS simple!  If understanding God’s truth were simply a matter of intelligence, masses of  people would understand it.  But because of God’s choice, only a few understand it now, or ever will.

If we rightly understand anything, let us bow very low at Jesus’ feet and thank him for showing mercy on us, and pray that he will show others the same grace.

Pastor John

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