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Archive for February, 2011

Saturday Night

Hi John,

I want to thank you for coming to Louisville this past weekend and the others that also made the trip. How does one describe the feelings from Saturday night’s reading of chapter 3 of your new book, God Had a Son before Mary Did? All I can say is, “Thank you Jesus!’ From the very start of the evening, it felt as if I was feasting on a banquet especially prepared by the Father for His children. I wanted to savor every bite.

It was a privilege to witness Brother Danny’s reaction. I was overcome by what he was saying and feeling. I thought to my self later that this is really why we do what we do — for others’ blessing. This why the work Jesus has given you was created. I feel like what we witnessed through Brother Danny was actually Jesus, saying, “Thank you.”

I feel honored to have any part in this work. It is not to be taken lightly.

Thank you John for all the work and love you have put into this book.

Tom

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Quotes by William Jennings Bryan that I found while studying for my final exam:

“If a man believes that he is a descendant of the ape, he can go to the zoo and speculate on how far he has come; if he believes the Bible, he goes to church and considers how far he has to go.”

Another one: “It is better to trust in the Rock of Ages, than to know the age of rocks.”

I think my new favorite psalm is Psalm 25, the ESV version:

http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm+25/

Bekah
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Yes, that is a wonderful Psalm, Bekah. It is one of the Psalms that I read during some of my darkest days, when it became so clear that we have to experience some degree of what the biblical writers suffered in order to perceive their meaning and their hearts. It was amazing to see, for the first time ever, while reading through the Psalms at that dark time, how very hated and hurt was the man who wrote that and other Psalms. Before that time, I had always read past all of his pain and confusion without really feeling it, but during that time, I couldn’t read past it. There was too much of a connection.

One verse in the ESV Psalm 25 that might be translated differently is verse 14, though what is there in the ESV is fine, I am sure. Those translators had it, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him”, but a more literal rendering might be better, such as “The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him.”

Daddy

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Thank You

Dear Pastor John

Yesterday I really felt to listen to messages on the Law from your OT study again. They were so good! You read from Deut. 4:5, where 120-yr-old Moses was telling God’s people, “You Have been taught! This Law is your wisdom! This Law makes you a Great Nation! It is God”s Law!”

I feel so thankful! We have been taught! You have taught us! It is up to us to use what you have taught us!
Thank you so much Pastor John. You have been a wonderful gift to my life!

Sue

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Iron Kingdom Typing

Dear Bro. John:

I am so thankful for the feelings of God that only come through what we have been reading about in The Father and Son book – – God’s life.

Tonight, I was finishing up some typing on one of the Iron Kingdom books – Christian Liturgy. As I was typing, I had the music playing from pastorjohnshouse.com. Reading sentences such as the following, I began to weep:

“On the post-baptismal ceremonies Pope Innocent asserts: ‘it belongs solely to the episcopal office that bishops consign and give the Paraclete Spirit.’ “

and . . . .

“The witness of the church fathers is unequivocal that what the faithful receive in Holy Communion is the body and blood of Christ, even if they variously refer to the bread and wine as figures (figurae), types (typoi), antitypes (antitypoi), or signs (sacramenta) of the body and blood of Christ.”

As my eyes fell on these words (to mention just these few), my heart was crying out, “Please don’t talk about God’s life this way!” Then the heaviness I felt was relieved as the beautiful music flowed into my heart from the website. Songs such as “Lift Him High”, “Worthy”, “Take the Time”, “Come Behold the Lamb” and “Loving Me” . . . . true words and feelings of God’s life! How sweet this felt! What a contrast from the words I was typing and the feelings coming through these songs. I was humbled and thankful for God’s life! I was thankful that the words I was typing were foreign to me, but the feelings I felt from God were real!

Typing these books has furthered my understanding of what Jesus meant in this verse: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”

I know our work is to get this message of love out to God’s children. But, I wondered as I typed tonight, if what we have been reading (and typing) and learning of God and His Son is to convince our hearts of how thankful we should be for this great love bestowed upon us. I want to stay humble and thankful.

Typing from these books has truly been a blessing. Thank you, Bro. John, for all you have done to help us and teach us of the Father and Son.

Sandy

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John,

Hey. James and I were looking up something online that he’s been hearing about lately, about the 12th imam of Islam. When reading about the 12th imam, we noticed lots of similarities between that character and things we’ve read in Revelation about the beast and end times. Seeing the current world events where the muslims hate Israel so much, I could see how this type of hatred could lead to the battle of Armageddon (when the time for that arrives). Do you think the beast would be a muslim? Some are suggesting this now (well, they are saying antichrist, but we know that isn’t the case) and they point out various similarites between the prophecies in Revelation and muslim beliefs and practices. For example the saints who are foretold to be beheaded, would be in line with the method of execution that muslims would use, and other various things. What they are saying doesn’t sound unreasonable to think. We wanted to ask you if you have any thoughts about these things. Here are a few of the things I found on Wikipedia abouth the 12th Imam:

“According to Twelver Shi’ite doctrine, he is an actual historical personality and is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam and replete the earth with justice and peace” (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Imams)

And this:

“The Occultation (Arabic: غيبة‎ Ghaybat) in Shia Islam refers to a belief that the messianic figure, al-Mahdi, who in Shia thought is an infallible male descendant of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, was born but disappeared, and will one day return and fill the world with justice. Some Shia, such as the Zaidi and Nizari Ismaili, do not believe in the idea of the Occultation. The groups that do believe in it differ on the succession of the Imamate, and therefore which individual is in Occultation. The hidden imam is still considered to be the Imam of the Time, to hold authority over the community, and to guide and protect individuals and the Shi’a community. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Occultation)

And this:

Sevener

“Ismaili before the rise of the Fatimid Empire believed that Muhammad ibn Ismail had gone into Occultation, and were called Sevener to reflect their belief in only seven imams, Muhammad’s father Ismail being the last till his return. The Qarmatian Sevener branch accepted a Persian prisoner by the name of Abu’l-Fadl al-Isfahani from Isfahan, who claimed to be the descendant of the Persian kings, as the returned Muhammad ibn Ismail [2][2][3][4][5][6][7] and also as their Mahdi. They rampaged violently across the Middle-East in the tenth century, climaxing their bloody campaign with the stealing of the Black Stone from the Kaaba in Mecca in 930 under Abu Tahir Al-Jannabi. After the arrival of the Mahdi they changed their qiblah from the Kaaba to the Zoroastrian-influenced fire. After their return of the Black Stone in 951 and defeat by the Abbasids in 976 they slowly faded out of history and no longer have any adherents.[8] “

Thanks,
James and Lyn

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Hi James and Lyn:

I have said for a long time now that the religious system of Christianity is preparing the way for many of God’s people to receive the Beast as the Savior of the world, the Messiah. The main element of that preparation is Christianity’s teaching that a person can be born again without being baptized with the holy ghost. This is why I say that: If one may be “born again” and belong to the family of God without the real holy Ghost, then it follows that one may also become a preacher of the gospel without it, and it also follows, then, that one may be the Messiah without it.

ANY religion, Christianity, Islam,. or whatever, which teaches that someone may be a citizen in God’s kingdom without having His real holy ghost is preparing people to receive the Beast as the Messiah. He won’t have it, either. And whether we are talking about being an ordinary citizen of God’s kingdom or the Messiah himself is irrelevant; it is just the idea that one may be of God, or be sent by God, without the baptism of the holy ghost that prepares people to look outside the real body of Christ for fellowship and for leadership.

This is the very reason that many of God’s people give ear to teachers without the holy ghost, men and women who cannot be sent by God to guide His flock because “if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Islam has its own version of the Messiah, but in reality, Muslims are looking in the same wrong direction that Christians are looking in, for they are greeting unconverted sinners as brothers and listening to leaders who teach that even without the baptism of the holy ghost that Jesus died for us to have, people can be of God.

jdc

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Hi Pastor John,

I am thankful to be a part of the family of God that meets at your house to hear you teach. I loved the way you gave the story of Philemon life. As you read and told about Paul writing this letter to Philemon, I felt as though I was a spectator watching from the side.

Part of what made last night so good to me was that I had read the book of Philemon at least twice, and Doris and I had listened to a narrated CD of Philemon 4 or 5 times, but last night was like hearing a story that I had never heard before. The difference is the anointing you have from God to teach.

Randell

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Philemon

Hi John,

I enjoyed the reading of Philemon last night. The feeling of it really shows Paul’s love and tenderness towards the brethren.

I wanted ask about verse 8. Your translation of that verse is more understandable than how it is written in the KJV. However, I was wondering about the meaning of “boldness” in that verse. I assume Paul was saying that he had total confidence in his authority to command Philemon to do the right thing, which makes perfect sense. Paul knew what Jesus had made him and he had the liberty to exercise his authority if he chose to do so.

Sometimes in modern English, boldness is perceived as arrogant or brassy, fearless. I don’t see Paul with that attitude at all. I see Paul being bold with humility and love for his fellow brethren, even courageous.

Another Scripture that has always made me curious where the word boldness is used is in Heb. 10:19.

“ Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (vs 20) by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh…(22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscious, and our bodies washed with pure water (23) let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering…”

Isn’t the point being made in these verses that we should have total confidence (boldness) in the new covenant, not relying on ceremonies and sacrifices but on Jesus our high priest and to exercise our liberty “by a new and living way”?

If you have any thoughts about the meaning of boldness in these verses I would love to hear them.

Thanks.

Tom

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Hi Tom.

Yes, Paul is talking about the confidence he has concerning who he is and the authority he has in Christ. That confidence is based on personal experience, and sure knowledge of what God did to him to make him an apostle, not on an ecclesiastical title bestowed on him by a religious institution. Such knowledge would enable Paul to be bold when he needed to be. He just didn’t need to be bold with Philemon, but for Onesimus’ sake, Paul mentions his authority. Paul had far too much confidence in Philemon’s relationship with God to use boldness.

Paul’s deep concern for Onesimus is the only reason he made mention of his authority. His deep love for that young man brought out some things in this letter that I don’t believe we would have ordinarily seen in Paul.

Pastor John

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