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Archive for October, 2010

Hey Pastor John,

I was just reading in the NT where Paul continued to baptize people after the holy ghost came, before and after they had received the holy ghost. He also circumcised Timothy, even though he knew it meant nothing, and knew that the real circumcision was of the heart. I was just wondering what the correct thing to do is in circumstances like these. I believe that his intentions were to not make someone stumble, especially if these were rituals that these people had been ingrained with. I also don’t want someone to think those things are necessary for salvation or that God’s spirit isn’t enough. This just kind of confused me because I can understand a few different point of views. Just wondering.

Thanks, Terri

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Hi Terry.

It’s good to see that you have read your Bible, and really paid attention to it! Isn’t it amazing what questions pop up when we do that?

Your question was “I was just wondering what the correct thing to do is in circumstances like these.” The answer is, “circumstances like these” do not exists any longer; so, we don’t have to worry about what we will do when you are in them.

Paul was living in a time when the Jews were still required by God to keep the law of Moses and all of its ceremonies. If you pay close attention, you will note that Paul never baptized any Gentile with water, only Jews. And even then, he regretted baptizing with John’s baptism with water the few Jews whom he did baptize, in Corinth especially, “for”, he said, “Christ sent me not to baptize” (1Cor. 1:17). It was also for the sake of the Jews living in the area of Timothy’s hometown that Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3), whose mother was a Jew. According to Jewish tradition, if the mother is a Jew, the child is a Jew, and Paul wanted to present no stumbling block to the Jews when he went to their synagogues and preached the gospel to them.

That time and those circumstances, however, are no more. The Jews who were alive at the time of John the Baptist have long since died, and the authority over the Jews which John’s message and baptism carried died along with them. Even before his death, Paul had begun shaking his garments at the Jews (Acts 18:6), symbolically signifying that he (and God) were coming to the end of any special regard for the Jews and that if they were going to be saved, they would have to submit to the gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles, and leave the law behind. The book of Acts ends with this angry warning from Paul to the Jews, whose minds were now blinded by God to the gospel (Acts 28:18): “Be it known, therefore, unto you, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and that they will hear it!” The Jews who walked away from Paul that day did not know that they were walking away from eternal life and into the arms of Death himself, who was waiting with open arms for them – holding on to the ceremonies of the law which God had now all but finished using for their good.

That is why those circumstances no longer exist for us, Terri; God has finished with the law of Moses. Paul was alive during a special time, when the law of Moses was still in effect for some people, the Jews, while the gospel for the Gentiles had begun to be preached. That is why you see Paul preaching one thing (no ceremonies – to the Gentiles), and occasionally doing another (practicing ceremonies for the sake of the Jews).

Let me know if you still have questions.

Pastor John

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Iron Kingdom Introduction

John,

I just finished the Iron Kingdom introduction again. I think I could read that forward 10 times, and not tire of it.

I believe that intro is among the best writing you have ever done. It held my attention throughout some very complex history there, and I found myself in tears about 2/3 the way through it this afternoon. That God would have me here, in this time, in this hour, with this understanding. It was more than I could take.

I felt so thankful to be here taking in the marvelous things God has revealed to you. We are among the most blessed. Everyone needs to hear this truth.

Gary

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Hey John,

I finished reading the Iron Kingdom Introduction, and I can hardly believe that you wrote this over ten years ago. How wonderful and up-to-date it is! I especially loved the “Foreward”, which I have read over and over again. It is the “who” that needs to be understood here, then, the learning follows. God help us and God’s children everywhere so that when this history, their history, is revealed, they will love it and obey it. They need much prayer and we need much to continue. This is the best history of Christianity and the Roman Empire anywhere, and not only history, but truth! I am thankful to be a part of the work God has given us to do. I am not sure when it will all take place, or if we will even be here when it does, but just to know that “the Lie” (and the “liar” who is behind it all) that is killing our brothers and sisters will be exposed by this book, gives me much to look forward to!

What a day that will be!
Amy

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Hi John,

I have read the forward and the Iron Kingdom introduction several times, and I love what I feel each time I read it. This morning I was reading it again and thinking about why I love it so much when I realized that you are telling who I am and what I believe! We are the body and are connected with you, and when you said, “I believe the Bible… Jesus has filled me with his Spirit and taught me, I am his servant” and “Christianity is an abomination…the saints must come out of Christianity…I am by the grace of God, a follower of Jesus, I am…not a Christian and not a part of the Church”, you were describing who we are and what we believe. This has been so good that I searched and found all of the Iron Kingdom emails that I had kept, and the Martin Luther email from a few years back, and I re-read them.

Like Amy, I hope I live long enough to read this book, and if not, there is a satisfaction in knowing it will expose Satan and his work, Christianity.

Randell

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Hi Pastor John,

I read the forward from Iron Kingdom…………wow! I never knew that Satan was cast out of heaven when Jesus ascended to heaven. I was at awe after I read it. It made Jesus even more precious. He was the sacrifice for everyone. My heart feels like its gonna burst with emotions. Love for Jesus, humility for what He has done. Disgust for the lie that Satan has been filling everyone and for how long this has been going on. Also blessed that my eyes and ears have heard the truth and my heart believes it. Thank you, I can’t wait for the rest!

God Bless,
 Michelle

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Dear John,

I finally found the time to sit quietly , without numerous interruptions that plagued me for weeks, and read your IK Intro.

The Forward was very honest and touching. Sincere. Simple. I liked that.

The body of the Introduction was a masterpiece— not only of scholarship, but of brevity; in a detailed, articulate compilation of the history leading up to the establishment of the Iron Kingdom. The element that shone most brightly for me was your “conviction”. . . . and the “authority” by which that conviction is expressed. There is a fascinating intensity in what you’re describing, especially in the final paragraphs, which was chilling, and provoked anticipation for what is yet to come in the subsequent chapters. It is indeed a courageous work, and I am proud of you.

I feel the holy Spirit’s voice speaking boldly in your writing (yet with a courteous, scholarly tone), although many will not discern that, and will criticize the piece for its audacity, no doubt. (Yay! Bring it on!)

I have a question: Why did you use the word “Church” in the section on “Satan”?

(. . .”The apostles later would teach the Church. . . ” and “Jesus is the hero of everyone’s story, whether the story of the Church on earth. . “)

Sincerely,

Brad
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Hi Brad.

The reason the word “church” was still in there is that the Introduction was written maybe 12-15 years ago. I remembered writing it, and feeling bad if THAT was the Intro I would need if and when I ever did actually get the book written. But so much time passed that I lost it! I didn’t know where that Introduction was. Not knowing that I had lost it, Amy happened to find it on her computer one day and sent it to me. That made me very happy! I did not have the time, until two days ago, to read it again for myself, though so many ppl told me how it affected them that I decided to share with you all without proof-reading it first. Since I have now read it, and marked portions of it for improvement, certain places will be changed, including the parts you mentioned.

It was my feeling, before Amy rediscovered that Introduction, that with it, I had done my best, as far as introducing the subject matter and explaining my reasons for writing the book. I am more convinced of that now. When and if the book is ever published, that will be the Introduction that you will see in it.

Pray for us, that we can get this book done. This past week, I was able to read 7 more books and prepare them to be typed, so that we can start gathering the necessary material together. One of those books, Vigilantius and His Times (written by an Englishman in 1832), is a book that I wish everyone in the body of Christ could read. It is very well written and it paints a sobering picture of the abomination of Christianity in the decades after Constantine imposed his version of the faith of Jesus on the world. It’s main focus is a young man, Vigilantius, who after years of watching and learning from them, spoke out against the practices of some of the “greatest” Christian rulers of his time, such as the veneration of relics, self-abuse and the mind-set of monks and hermits, and praying to dead saints. His most vicious critic was “Saint” Jerome, a man who is called by Catholics a “doctor” of the Church, and a man who had enormous influence in the civilized world of that time.

John David found tonight that Vigilantius and His Times can be found and read for free at Google Books. I have not gone to Google books yet, but some of you may want to, just to see if you find this book as interesting as I did (even though it is almost 500 pages!)

Thanks for your thoughts. Please continue to pray for us.

jdc

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Cremation

I wanted to ask you what your biblical ideas were on cremation. I have been asking others as well, but I know my brother James would tell me to ask you. Thank you for all you are.

Sheila A

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Hi Sheila.

Thanks for writing!

I don’t think it matters at all whether or not someone is cremated.

Now, if it were true, what the “apostolic fathers” of Christianity taught, and believers will be raised from the dead in their same old fleshly bodies, then maybe you would want to keep your body parts all together in one place, such as inside a metal coffin. But if it is true what the Apostle Paul taught, and we are raised up with spiritual bodies, then who cares what happens to this fleshly temple once we’re finished using it? Your body is going to turn back to “dust” or “ashes”, no matter what you do. Cremation is a just faster way to get it there.

The biggest benefit I can see to being cremated is that the dead person’s family avoids the extremely expensive burial procedure of the typical Funeral Home.

Pastor John

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Why Is It Not Clear?

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

Name: Daniel B

web comment:

I recently read your book on Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism. I’m a recent graduate of Bible College and an Assemblies of God pastor, so your book sounded intriguing.

I appreciate the spirit of humility with which you wrote the book. That was refreshing and respectable.

I know that an argument from silence is a huge faux pas, and I make it with some reluctance. But to be honest, I find it difficult to believe that speaking in tongues is essential to the new birth when it is spoken of so little! Would not our gracious God make it more clear….even by flat out telling us that this is what Tongues really is?
What are your thoughts on this?

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Thank you, Daniel, for your comments.

My thoughts have been, in a way, your thoughts. Why in the world would God not make it more clear concerning the testimony of the Spirit being the evidence of the baptism of the Spirit (which baptism is undeniably the new birth)?

I cannot presume to know God’s mind on this, but I do know this much: if the Scriptures had made the new birth as clear as we think we would like them to be on the subject, the wicked men who ruled Christianity the last two millennia, who had unbridled power and complete control of Western culture, would have either destroyed the Scriptures or altered them. I am utterly convinced that the only reason that the Scriptures survived for us as well as they did is those who preserved them did not understand them. God “blinded their minds”, and they did His will. So, maybe the wisdom of God is in the fact of the fundamental truth of all the gospel, the new birth, was not made so plain that the ungodly could see it.

If you stop to consider the issue of the new birth in the NT books, you will meet with the incredible, but undeniable fact that it is never made absolutely clear when or how the New Birth is accomplished. I am sure there must be at least a few, somewhere, but I personally have yet to meet a Christian minister who has considered the question, “When were the disciples born again?” And among those who have dealt with that question, from what I have heard, there are a number of conflicting answers rendered.

So, it is not just that the NT does not make it perfectly clear, whether or not everyone speaks in tongues when they are baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13). At issue is the fact that the New Birth itself, the very bedrock upon which the whole life of every believer is built, is never made plain in the NT — unless it is as I have described it in my booklet, Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism. If what I have said is true, everything else makes sense — even if it exposes the ceremonial religious system of Church religion to be worthless in the sight of God. (I am aware of the enormous ramifications of that.) If, however, what I am teaching is not true, then I am a false teacher (as many contend that I am), and we all are left again in the darkness of our own opinions as to when the Bible teaches that a person is born of the Spirit.

If I may, I would like to suggest my little book, Spiritual Light. In the chapter, “Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain”, you will learn why I teach that it is unwise, and completely unbiblical, for anyone to claim to have already “gotten saved”. That chapter is a good starting point for this discussion.

May God be with you, and bless you and yours is my sincere prayer. We here greet you in the name of the Lord, and in his love. I hope you feel welcome to respond to this letter in any way you please. I certainly hope that you will.

Your servant in Christ,
jdc

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The Bride of Christ

http://www.goingtojesus.com/site/php/besetting.html

Pastor John,

The other day I was reading one of your tracts “The Besetting Sin”, on the last page it’s talking about the bride of Christ. It says the bride of christ is not the body of Christ as a whole, but only that part of the body that keeps itself pure. Does this mean a backslider cannot be the bride of Christ?

God Bless,
Michelle

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Good question, Michelle.

The bride of Christ will be only that part of the body of Christ that is faithful to the Bridegroom and invited into the “marriage supper of the Lamb” at the end of the age. They are the ones whom Jesus called “wise virgins”. It is not wise to claim to be the bride of Christ, just as it is not wise to claim to be saved already. Jesus will decide all that when he comes.

Pastor John

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Thoughts About 1 Samuel

Hi John,

This morning I was reading 1Samuel 1 and had this thought. When Hannah poured her heart out to the Lord regarding her pain of not having children, the Lord put into her heart what to pray for. She vowed that if the Lord would give her a child she would give the child back to Him so that the child could serve Him.

I thought it interesting that the Lord put it into her heart to make this promise, knowing that the child would be raised by Eli, the high priest, and no doubt influenced by Eli’s two wicked sons, whom God hated. In spite of the wicked influences that Samuel grew up around, the Lord kept him. I realize this is probably not a new thought but it caught my attention. It’s about God and whom He chooses.

Also, even though Eli was told that his two wicked sons would be killed and that none of Eli’s descendants would make it to old age, the Lord waited for Samuel to grow up and become established before the Lord executed His promise. I saw the love of God for His people in this. When Eli the high priest died and the ark was captured, it may have been too much for God’s children to bear without Samuel around. Samuel was their connection to God during these dark times.

Anyway, I wanted to pass along these thoughts.

Tom

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Tom’s is a predestination point of view but I always thought that when Samuel as a young boy told Eli about his sons that God was giving Eli time to make it right. And I always thought Hannahs prayer was that of a righteous woman who was seeking God & He honored her prayer. I just want to bring up the freewill side of the coin. Our actions & prayers can touch God. And His mind can be changed. What a good God!

te

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I believe you — and Tom!

jdc

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John,

I realize God’s mercy is beyond what we can comprehend. However, I also thought Eli and his sons crossed over a line that forgiveness would not be possible without a New Testament experience such as King David had. In 1 Sam 3:14, the Lord spoke to the young boy Samuel and told him that Eli’s sin was so grievous that, “the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever”.

I was thinking that what Eli’s sons were doing at the time would be the New Testament equivalent of blaspheming the holy ghost. As priests, they were in a position, ordained by God, to accept the sacrifices of God’s people to have their sins and the sins of their families forgiven. “Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord” (1Sam. 2:17).

The fact that Eli and his sons did not turn from their wickedness makes it even more remarkable how God kept Samuel through it all.

I agree with Token that God can change His mind. He did with King David. The mercy He has shown me is beyond understanding sometimes.
So, I like your response. “I believe you (te) and Tom.” God is so good!

Tom

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Ephesians 1:13

Hey John,

When you get a chance, could you translate Ephesians 1:13 for me? Mainly the first sentence. I have an SIT response who referred to it and they are using a different translation (don’t know which) than the KJV. Thank you very much!

Billy H.

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Hi Billy:

Here is what I have, but we have not gone over it yet, as a group.

13. and in him, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed, you were sealed by Him with the holy spirit of promise,.”

Hope that helps.

jdc

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