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Archive for November, 2010

From Jamie C:

As we were driving down the road, Jacob said, “I know why Adam wasn’t made a baby and started out as a man.”

Me – “Why?”

Jacob – “There was no one here to feed him, or change him, and take care of him.”

This OT class has really got his mind thinking on God, and he has a lot of thought and questions. Very sweet!

Now Noah is asking questions, like, “Is God a ghost?” and “Does he make the sun come up?”

Very sweet!!

Jamie

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I agree! I hope you and Paul take full advantage of their sincere, open hearts, and teach them well! The opportunity to do so will quickly pass.

jdc

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Hebrews 3:10

Hi Pastor John:

I was sitting in yesterday during the Hebrew translation. In 3:9, God told Israel, that they tried him for 40 years, and saw God’s works. When you read the part in 3:10, “They do alway err in their heart; and have not know my ways,” really stood out to me.

Israel, for forty years, were eating manna, drinking water that God supplied, were spoken to at the beginning by God (then by Moses), their shoes and clothes not worn out for 40 years, victory over the Amalekites while Aaron and Hur lifted up Moses’ arms, saw the ground open up and swallow some rebellious leaders. They were also led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, saw the glory of God fill the Tabernacle, healed from serpent’s bites and poisons, given quail to eat, and probably a billion more things given to them from God. But yet, they “did alway err in their heart and and they have not known my ways.”

Israel appeared to know God, especially to other nations. The other nations were sore afraid when they heard of this God, but God knew and saw Israel’s heart concerning him. It was never God’s intention to make His people wander 40 years through the Sinai Peninsula. In the beginning, God wanted to give them the land that was flowing with milk and honey, the land promised centuries before to Abraham and that God wanted to give them now. These stories of God are our examples.

I look back at my life and see God’s fingerprints all over it; when God healed my feet in the 2nd grade, healed me of an appendix attack when I was in my bedroom all alone at 13, gave me the holy Ghost in 1980, put me with you in 2001, and now healed me of a cancer I carried around for no telling how long (just for God’s son to receive glory).

I started crying after I left the translation session and prayed, “Do I really know you, God? or am I also erring in my heart?” Am I keeping your commandments because I have to, or because I love you? I prayed, “God let me love you more — from the inside out.”

I have seen many examples over the years of people who served God outwardly, and not with their heart. They fooled themselves, and others for a while, but never fooled God; God saw their heart. I also have seen many people that didn’t look like they were doing well at all, but God knows their heart. We can know their hearts, too. It truly is “a matter of the heart” as you have told us over and over.

Jeremy and Brittany came over when I returned home, and we sat down with one another, and I read them chapter 3 of Hebrews. We have just finished reading Exodus 24 in the OT class, and now we are going to read about Israel’s wandering and unbelief.

This translation of Hebrews is right on time! I pray we let it fill our hearts, so we do not err.

Sincerly,
Billy

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Damien – Price Observation

Hey

One thing I have become aware of over the last few months is that the forward contract prices for almost every grain crop have been increasing very significantly regardless of supply and demand issues. It seems the big money is going into basic commodities and not just silver and gold. I have watched prices of the basics we buy at Walmart for response to these price increases but have noticed nothing, as yet. Walmart’s buying power and its long term contracts will insulate its prices for a time.

However, yesterday I bought feed for the chickens. The price had increased 22% since my previous purchase on October 21 which is in line with the price increases in the contracts. It could be that it is easier to pass it on to feedstock suppliers than it is to Walmart (given Walmart’s formidable reputation for keeping prices low) but the massive inflationary pressure is there and it is real. I won’t be surprised to see major price rises next year in basic items or businesses going broke if they are unable to pass the costs on.

The growing mess here and in the world – the focus is temporarily back on Europe – is heading toward the need for major trading, financial and currency reforms. I suspect this sort of thing will one day be part of the precursor for the 3rd seal of Revelation. It may not be that far away but then again, during my life I have seen things somehow stumble along far longer than I thought possible. Still, I cannot help but feel that these times are the best we will see and that they are already declining before our eyes. It is still a good time to do our work.

Damien

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I know how you feel, Damien, about events taking longer to develop than one would expect. I expected and predicted a terrorist attack such as took place on 9-11 twenty years before it took place (I actually expected something worse than that, which may still happen). We experience such foreknowledge of the future because children of God feel the presence of the spirit of a thing before the thing itself appears. From that perspective, it has been — and remains — a matter of wonder to me at how blind the leaders of this country are to the facts of life. There is no accounting for their blindness, other than (1) somebody is being paid off and (2) God is blinding their eyes to bring about an end to this wretched age.

Basic commodities will certainly become more precious than gold. The technological “wowee” era, of which this generation is so proud, cannot survive the devastations that lie ahead. Essential foods, clean water, and shelter — does this generation even comprehend that all of that can be lost in a matter of days?

jdc

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Old Testament Vs. New Testament

Hey Pastor John,

I had a question about why demon possession seemed to have a lot of occurrences in the new testament and none in the old testament. Also, the same question with generational curses happening in the old testament but not in the new testament.

Thanks a bunch,
Terri

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Hi Terri

Excellent questions!

First, demon possession in the ancient world (prior to Christ) was not seen as a bad thing. It was a well-known fact of life among the nations of earth, but if anything, it was a condition that was desired rather than feared. Men of that time saw demon-possession as a way to gain wealth and secret knowledge, as in the case of the demon-possessed slave girl in Acts 16:16-21. Her owners thought it was a horrible thing when Paul cast the demon out of her.

It was only when Christ came and brought light to men that the understanding came that demons were bad. That is a simple statement, and may be a little over-stated, but that is basically how it happened that men of earth began to understand that demon-possession was not a holy thing.

Secondly, I do not see “generational curses” (a non-biblical term, by the way) such as are mentioned in the books of Moses as necessarily ending. Whether one would call it a curse or not can be debated, but I have seen the wonderful, lingering effect that the righteousness of parents can have on children and grandchildren, and I have seen the horrific, lingering effect that sins of the parents have had on succeeding generations. And if we believe that God, not good or bad luck, determines the circumstances of our lives, can we not say that the good effects of righteousness are His blessings on the children and that the evil effects of sin are His curses on them? Of course, in the Final Judgment, each of us will give account of our own deeds to God, not the deeds of others. But then, even that was the case under the law (Ezek. 18).

Thank you for these very good questions. Such questions help us all. We benefit from thinking about such things.

Pastor John

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Hi John,

I enjoyed Terri’s questions and your responses. I had never thought about being possessed with a demon as being a good thing, but I see how it was looked at differently by the world if they could make money by being possessed.

Thinking about demons gave me a question. If the fallen angels who were cast out of Heaven with Satan are the evil spirits, or demons, that were on earth after Jesus was glorified, who were the evil spirits and demons before Pentecost? God allowed Satan to think he was getting by while he lived in Heaven until Jesus was glorified. So could these “fallen” angels have been evil spirits and demons on earth before Pentecost, while they were still living in Heaven?

Thank you,

Randell

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Yes, Randell, the angels who fell and became what we now refer to as “demons” were the same evil spirits ocassionally mentioned prior to Pentecost. Before God gave us His Spirit on the day of Pentecost, those heavenly beings had access to both heaven and earth, and they were not always thought of as being wicked. After the Spirit of truth came on the day of Pentecost, those spirits were forever denied access to heaven, and because the Spirit of truth was now among men, in time, most people began to realize that demons are very evil, undesireable spirits.

jdc

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LeeAnn – Uncle Joe

Just thinking about Uncle Joe today, November 24th. He would have been 95.

In one way, I am thankful he is gone and does not have to see some of the things we have seen certain of God’s people do. On the other hand, he would certainly have loved you all, especially the tract nights we sometimes have.

jdc

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Wow, 95. I’m so thankful for Uncle Joe. I’m thankful for the special relationship that ya’ll had and I can see why you would have been so good for each other. We still benefit from his life and his testimony. When I hear him on the CDs, my ears perk up because he always has something worthwhile to say. I love that underneath his sometimes rough exterior, he had such a tender heart. He was always so honest and sincere. He never minded admitting to a fault, and was so sincere about asking for help with it. I often think to myself when I hear him on those cds that I want to be more open like he was. He really was a man that was honest in his own heart. I remember how he would grab Ellen up when she was little bitty and hold her on his lap. That would always touch me to see him with the kids.

I feel like you do about being glad he wasn’t around to see some of the things God’s people have done, but then again, I wish I could have had more time to spend with him.

Hope you’re having a good morning,

Lee Ann

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Coals of Fire

PastorJohnsHouse Blog on “Coals of Fire”

Hey Daddy ~

[Concerning the recent Blog] What exactly does it mean to “heap coals of fire” upon someone’s head? Is that a reference to a cultural practice of the day? Or do we not know anything more about it, other than it would hurt pretty badly? 😛

Thanks,
Bekah

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Good question. I know what it means, but as to whether it also referred to some cultural practice of the time, I don’t know.

The phrase “heap coals of fire” on an evil-doer’s head means to make things worse for them in the Final Judgment. Solomon advised his children to treat evil-doers kindly so that in the Final Judgment, their damnation will be even worse than it is already going to be. We know that an evil-doer is on his way to eternal fire because Jesus, and men God throughout the Bible, said so (e.g., Mt. 25:41). But if those evildoers have done wrong to people who were good to them, and not just to sinners like themselves, then they will be worthy of “greater damnation”. This “greater damnation” is the “coals of fire” that a good person can heap upon the head an evil-doer.

dad

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Today’s Meeting

Hi pastor John,

I love today’s reading in 1Timothy. Every time you talk about slander, it gets clearer in my spirit how it works, and how bad it is, and how much it hurts the people involved. I loved the answer for it: sincerity and the love of God. If we are like that, sincere and love the truth we will overcome it all, and not get involved in slander. It will go some where else, like you said.

It sounds so complicated because it has so many fingers like spaghetti, but like you said, if we can discern the body and take it where we need to take it, slander will have to go somewhere else. But it will work where God’s people need to know who is approved of by God in the body and who is who in the body. I thank God that we have such a wonderful place to learn about him, where his anointing is at work.

Thanks
Stuart

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This weekend was great. I feel like it was a real education for me. I had many many wrong thoughts about what slander is and how slander works, so to hear someone really dive in and correct those wrong thoughts was really good to me. Something I have always heard dad say that I was reminded of this weekend is:

“If you have a complaint or a problem always complain up.”

That is going to the right place with your thoughts, right or wrong. If your thoughts are right, you will be encouraged. If they are wrong, you will be corrected.

I feel safety in that.

:0)

Anonymous

 

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