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Archive for September, 2011

Sin of Jeroboam

Hi Pastor John,

Christian ceremonial worship reminds me of what we have been studying in the OT, the Sin of Jeroboam. It’s written, I believe, “the sin of Jeroboam, where with he caused God’s people to sin”. It is the 16th major event in the OT, according to your OT outline.

If you cross out Jeroboam’s name and insert Constantine, it may read some what like this, “The sin of Constantine, wherewith he caused God’s people to sin.” As we know, Jeroboam set up false gods in Dan and Bethel, erected a temple to replace the temple in jerusalem, along with substituting his own feast days, and he made men priests who were not Levites. Jeroboam wanted to secure his place as king, and so he invented a religion that he thought would pacify the people. And it did. He made it so easy for God’s people to worship, but by partaking of it, they were actually sinning against God. That’s how I see God’s people partaking of the religious system called Christianity. Christianity is a NT version of Jeroboam’s sin, and we know who wants to king now.

The readings from the father and Son book have been wonderful! I can’t remember, ever, a time that I heard this truth so clear.

Billy M

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Pastor John,

In John 10:10 Jesus speaks of “the thief” coming to steal, kill, and destroy. Is He referring (inferring?) to Satan, the devil, specifically, or the false teachers and religious leaders (hirelings) of the day?

I was cross-referencing Matt 23:13,14, when Jesus also accused the Pharisees of standing in the way of the door, and it seemed to be the same implication. They were “thieves” of people’s souls, by not permitting them entry into the kingdom, neither going in themselves.

But I heard a brief segment of a radio program where Joyce Meyer was saying that the “thief” that Jesus was talking about in that verse was the devil.

I know that that the serpent (Satan) is, in fact, a liar and a thief, a slanderer and a destroyer, but in those verses in John 10:10 and Matthew, I don’t think it is referring specifically to Satan.

Can you clarify?

Brad
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Hi Brad.

You are on the right path in thinking that Jesus was referring to ministers who have not been sent by God. But Ms. Meyer is correct in associating the thief with Satan. Without Satan, false teachers could not be as effective in their deceit as they are, and as you heard me teach a week or so ago, we are held accountable not only for our deeds but also for the deeds that we influence others to perform. Satan, being “the father of lies”, gets credit for all the lies that are taught to God’s people, and all the lies told to everyone else on earth. And being “a murderer from the beginning”, he also gets credit for all the murder that takes place everywhere, especially the murders of innocent children of God that has been carried out over the centuries by the men you see as “thieves and robbers”.

Since Jesus said, “the thief” instead of “thieves”, it’s probably best that we start by saying that John 10:10 refers specifically to Satan. However, if we forget that Satan does virtually nothing to the body of Christ without his visible representatives (ministers whom Jesus would call “sons of the devil”), we set ourselves up to become victims of them.

Stay on guard!
Pastor John

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Joshua’s curse

Good morning! What words of God through Joshua are being talked about in 1 Kings 16:34 (ESV):

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.”

See it at YouVersion.com:

http://bible.us/1Kgs16.34.ESV

Rebekah C.
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That is a reference to Joshua 6:26, which contains the curse which Joshua uttered upon anyone who would dare to rebuild Jericho, after he and the Israelites (with God’s help) sacked it.

Pastor John

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question from website.
Gary
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Hi Brother John David Clark, Sr.

Good morning. I could Not find answer of this question BELOW on your website. Could you please answer the question.

In Romans 2, Paul describes God’s principles of judgment. How are these related to: A) Gentiles B) Jews C) Christian believers?

Thank you for being so kind.

__________________
Sincerely Yours
Rev. Nasir M. G.
Methodist Church of Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
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Dear Sir:

The two basic principles concerning judgment that I see in Romans 2 are these:
(1) Condemning others for deeds that you yourself are doing is hypocrisy, and the hypocrite will be punished by God.
(2) God will impartially render to every man according to his deeds, whether a person sinned under the law or not.

Paul does give a specific warning in that chapter to teachers of the law of Moses, but even at that, the instructions he gives are intended to educate the body of Christ as a whole. I hope that answers your questions.

Pastor John

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Tithe – comment from website

Another web site comment.
Gary
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Having read the article on tithe ,whilst I fully agree with it,my wife and I are unable to pay a full 10%, because all my pensions come from the UK, and my wife is disabled and not able to work. Recently the pound has gone down so much we are unable to pay the tithe, otherwise we would not be able to pay the Bills, in fact we cannot do it now, but the creditors are so good, and prepared to wait.
It does concern us that we cannot pay tithe and would only be happy if we were able to. Can we pay a smaller amount than 10%, for the time being.? Perhaps you have some ideas on what we can do to satisfy God and not be accused of covetness. Looking forward to hearing from you.

God be with you
John G
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Dear John,

Thank you for your question. It is one that many people have.
First, your letter seemed to suggest that you have thoughts of sending me a donation, but please understand that I do not accept any money from anyone outside the congregation that the Lord has given me here. I emphasize that fact so that my answer can in no way be taken as self-serving.

As for me, personally, I would render my tithes and offering to God before I bought food to eat, if it ever came to that (and in years past, it has not been too far from it). That is how important a matter this is. The publication of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ is more important than my comfort, my security, and my life. However, part of the true fast which God has ordained is to “let the oppressed go free” (Isa. 58:6), which is a phrase which means that the ministers of Christ have the authority to release certain people from the obligation to render to God His tithes and offerings if they are “oppressed”. The word “oppressed” in the Bible is very frequently associated with finances, and when certain people here have found themselves oppressed by evil persons, often in conjunction with the courts, because of their love for the truth, I have released them from bringing tithes and offerings to me until Jesus got them back up on their feet, financially. Some have refused to be “free” and have brought God His tithes and offerings in spite of their difficult circumstances, and I respected their choice to do that. On the other hand, others have taken advantage of the opportunity Jesus gave them to pay off things such as debts dumped on them by unfaithful or vindictive spouses.

Since I am not your pastor, and I do not know what your situation is, I cannot comment specifically on it. The above explanation, however, will give you a clear picture, both of how important tithing is, and of how merciful and good God’s ways are. he is not an oppressor.

Hope that helps.

Pastor John
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Dear Pastor John,

Thank you very much for your letter, it was helpful, but has also got me confused, because if we pay tithe at the moment, we will not be able to pay for our wood for the winter. The situation should change in November, when we get more OAS, and with a struggle we should be able to pay it. I take it that you are not in favour of paying a proportion of the tithe until we can pay the full amount.

God be with you
John
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Greetings again.

Life is filled with all sorts of situations, and nuances of them all. No one answer will fit them all. That is why we so much needed the Spirit of God within us instead of a law written in a scroll. The Spirit will guide you into all truth. As you seek the will of God for your particular situation, let me encourage you not to be anxious about it. Trust God. He loves you and is standing ready to help, not to destroy. Also, pray not to fear to do what he says. As Mary told the servants at the wedding in Cana, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” You will be glad you did.

Your servant,
Pastor John
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This email correspondence reminds me of my financial situation when my brother Richard moved out. I looked at my finances & knew my savings were the only way I could afford the newly purchased car with all the other expenses. I remember feeling nervous & unsure of how it would work out.

But the Lord worked it out so that not only could I afford everything, but I could also afford an extra car payment every month. I had some trying months (I had over $5,000 of unexpected expenses–IRS debt & work on the house), but “God’s economy” is amazing, & I never missed paying my tithes & offerings or paying extra on the car.

I pray to continue to be reminded of how blessed I really am (& have been).
Amanda
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This email reminded me of a time soon after meeting John. I was explaining my financial situation to him about how I could not afford to pay full tithes as I was barely able to make ends meet after separating from my first wife. I was then having to live on one income when I was just getting by having two incomes when I was married. He told me that he would never place hinself into a situation where he could not pay his tithes. Although by doing the math there was no way I could tithe and pay my bills, I decided to start paying my tithes. That was over 20 years ago and I have always been able to pay not only my tithes but my offerings as well. And the Lord has blessed me far beyond just being able to pay my tithes. I know that all of my wealth is given to me by God. He just wants me to place my trust in him. Thank you Jesus.

Bob

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Website comment

comment from website.
Gary
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Just wanted to thank you for the article “stiring the gift that is within you”. I became desperate and God met me. That was two and a half years ago and I have not been the same since. You are right, we must realize that if we do not stay filled with the Holy Spirit and God’s word we are in danger of becoming deceived. From there we become complacent little by little until we become lukewarm. I see it happening every where, however, I also see people becoming more hungry for God. I am a public school teacher and that is my mission field. It is scary at the number of kids who never go to church, but it is even scarier at the amount who do go to church on a regular basis and say they are going to heaven but can not tell you what you have to do to be saved. The most popular answer is “be a good person”. Before they leave my class they will know what they must do to be saved, why they need to be, how powerful the word of God is, and how to have a more intimate relationship with Jesus.

Thanks again,
Hungry for more.
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Thank you for your comments, and may God guide you as you seek to do His will for those young people.

Pastor John

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A new experience for me

Pastor John,

I had an experience from Jesus this morning that I had never had before. I awoke at 1:25 am and could not go back to sleep. So I got up and went to the living room and lay on the couch and talked to the Lord. I was having thoughts when talking to Him that I wanted to be closer to Him than I had ever been and I wanted Him to fix whatever needed to be fixed so we could be so close that I could talk to him like Moses did. While talking to the Lord I could not get situated so I knelt beside the couch, then I got on my hands and knees and finally I was standing praising Him and speaking in tongues. While standing I was having feelings stronger than I had ever felt that he really was King and Lord and my Savior. When I finally laid back down on the couch I was still having those feeling and thoughts. Then I had a new experience from the Lord I had never had before. I realized there was a sweet smelling aroma in the room that I had never smelled before. (I was not asleep or dreaming, I was wide awake.) The sweet smell stayed for a while and gradually faded away as the strong feeling of who Jesus is faded away. Even though I knew that I had had an experience with Jesus it was like I was in shock by what happened. I started smelling my hands and around the room to see if the smell was still there but it was gone. Then I went back to bed at 2:24 am and lay there thinking about what had happened until I drifted off to sleep. I remember wondering if the Lord had come so close that the sweet smell filling the room was His presence?

Randell

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It sounds like it to me, Randell. My, what a glorious experience! I think it was for all of us, even though it was given to you. Thanks for the testimony.

Pastor John

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